Damjanovic: An educated, progressive action maker for LWSD board | Letter

A school board member should be a model of learning and a strong role model for our students. Anita Damjanovic is the ONLY candidate in the Lake Washington School District director No. 3 race with a four-year college degree. Additionally, with advanced master’s and doctorate degrees, she has taught both K-12 and college in three different states. Anita has dedicated her career to enriching minds and challenging students to be more engaged, critically thinking members of society. This mother of two in our community, who is also fluent in three languages, will represent us best on the school board.

I have been fortunate to call Anita a good friend for the past six years and it is hard to find someone as passionate about education — and life — as she is. Growing up, Anita has seen her share of hardship: as a child, she immigrated to the United States with her family during the Croatian War. She is extremely intelligent, driven and tenacious, completing her doctorate degree while raising her first son and teaching middle school full time.

Anita is fluent in three languages and she and her husband are raising their two children in a bilingual and multicultural household. She uniquely understands the importance of diversity, inclusion and learning from those with different life experiences. With a student body as diverse as LWSD, we need someone like Anita who has been advocating for more language and cultural instruction to lead the district in preparing students for the dialogues they will face in a global society. Our district is already increasing STEM education (which Anita completely supports) for our students. Would it not make sense for our future leaders to also become well-rounded, model global citizens?

This vision can be our future and we need people like Anita who not only care deeply about our educational system, but have fresh ideas and the experience to help create a system where ALL students have the highest chance of success. As a language teacher with 14 years of classroom experience, Anita is this person. She is an effective communicator and an even better listener. She is compassionate, yet firm and fair. She is extremely organized and works well with others to problem solve and get things done. Above all, she is honest and is not afraid to tell the truth as it should be told. I know Anita will use her skills, experience, and strong ethics to work tirelessly with students, families, and the Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish communities to uphold the values of LWSD to make it a district where students of all backgrounds succeed in whichever paths they choose.

Our public schools are shaping the decision makers of tomorrow and our students deserve an educated, progressive action maker on the school board to ensure district policies and goals are in the best interest of students. Please make the right decision by voting for Anita Damjanovic for LWSD school board this November.

Joy Chan,

Kirkland

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