3 vie for Washougal school board spot

Current president faces 2 challengers in Aug. 6 primary

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter




Blaine A. Peterson

Age: 59.

Occupation: Financial adviser, Morgan Stanley.

Community involvement: Member of school board for past six years; current board president.

Eva-Maria Mull

Age: 53.

Occupation: Senior buyer, Daimler Trucks North America LLC.

Community involvement: Former para-educator in special education high school classrooms, Washougal School District; volunteer in her sons’ classrooms; helped organize first prom dress exchange at Washougal High School; assistant Little League coach.

Jeanie Moran

Age: 36.

Occupation: Teacher at Lacamas Heights Elementary in Camas for the past 13 years.

Community involvement: Girl Scout leader, coordinated school’s Jump Rope for Heart, classroom volunteer.

A businesswoman and a teacher are challenging incumbent Blaine A. Peterson, the current president of the Washougal school board, in a three-way primary race for the Washougal School District's third district position. The top two finishers in the Aug. 6 primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election. School board members in Washougal serve without pay.

Peterson has been a board member for the past six years. A financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, Peterson has two children who attended school in the district.

"The biggest things facing the district are competing priorities of budget and the state and federal expectations on the education system without full funding," Peterson said.

The board's greatest accomplishment during his tenure is the district's ability "to continue offering a full curriculum of academics, career and technical education, sports and the arts within the state budget cuts in the last few years," he said.

Peterson noted that having a seasoned board member will be advantageous when the district brings a maintenance and operations levy before voters.

Both of Peterson's challengers have experience working and volunteering in local classrooms.

Eva-Maria Mull works in international procurement with Daimler Trucks North America. Previously, she was a special education para-educator at Washougal High School. She also volunteered in her sons' classrooms in the district.

Mull was born in Germany and attended German schools.

"I bring a different perspective to the table. I'm German, but I'm a U.S. citizen. I've been a longtime resident in Washougal. I've seen a lot of issues the district has faced in the past."

The district's main issues are funding at the state level, capacity issues as more people move into the area, aging schools and updating technology resources, Mull said.

Educator Jeanie Moran has taught at Lacamas Heights Elementary in Camas for the past 13 years. Her two children attend school in the Washougal district. She's also a Girl Scout leader and a volunteer in her children's classrooms.

Moran says she is "a concerned parent who wants to enrich education for all children and prepare them to be productive citizens."

Ballots are due to be in the mail today.

Susan Parrish: 360-735-4515; http://twitter.com/Col_Schools; susan.parrish@columbian.com