My-Linh Thai should be reelected to the Bellevue School Board for her integrity, caring and knowledge.

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MY-Linh Thai is the obvious choice in the only competitive race for Bellevue School Board this year.

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My-Linh Thai

CANDIDATE

Bellevue School Board, District 5

Strengths: She has an expert-level understanding of state education policy and budgeting. She values communication and community connections and wants to get students more involved in school-district policy decisions.

During her first term on the board, she volunteered to advocate for school funding before the Legislature, and worked on racial equity and the achievement gap locally and statewide through the Washington State School Directors’ Association."

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During her first term on the board, she volunteered to advocate for school funding before the Legislature, and worked on racial equity and the achievement gap locally and statewide through the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

Although she is a pharmacist, Thai has turned her volunteer work into a full-time job and has embraced education as her cause. She has an expert-level understanding of state education policy and budgeting. She values communication and community connections and wants to get students more involved in school-district policy decisions. Thai was involved in the process of hiring the district’s promising new superintendent, who has a similar focus on racial equity and closing the achievement gap.

Her opponent, Hugh Gladner, is also committed to improving education in Bellevue for all children and has also volunteered for years in the community and in Bellevue schools. But he is less knowledgeable about education policy, and the fundraising for his campaign raises some red flags.

According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, Gladner has raised more than $12,000 for his campaign, much of it from leaders of the old Bellevue Wolverine Football Club, the booster group that is suing the school district and others over sanctions against the Bellevue High School football program.

Thai is surprisingly contrite about her role as a school board member during the football-player recruitment scandal, which was uncovered by The Seattle Times’ investigative reporting. She takes personal responsibility for the school board’s slowness to get involved and says it did a terrible job of oversight.

That kind of honesty and thoughtfulness makes Thai an excellent school board member, even without her superior knowledge of education policy and commitment to equity. Voters in Bellevue’s District 5 should re-elect Thai.