Candidate Meet and Greet statements: School Board Pos. 3 — Noble and Graves

The following is a transcript of the three-minute statements read by Gary Noble, incumbent running for re-election to the Edmonds School District Board of Directors, Position 3, and his challenger Rory Graves during a candidate Meet and Greet event Sept. 8 at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

While much of the Sept. 8 candidate event focused on Edmonds candidates, it also included candidates for Edmonds School Board and Snohomish County Superior Court Judge, who will appear on Nov. 5 general election ballots in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

We will post future candidate statements from that event here, by position, over the next several days.

You can also see video of the candidates speaking here.  The event was sponsored by the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, Indivisible Edmonds and the Sierra Club.

Edmonds School District Board of Directors Position 3

Rory Graves

Rory Graves

Hello, I’m Rory Graves. I have three kids in the Edmonds School District and have lived here for past six years.

I’m running because like many of you I feel great frustration about the $17.7 million shortfall in our budget, and the State Legislature’s continued failure to fund basic education.

I know I look young. I’m sometimes mistaken for a high school student, but I want to you to know I’m experienced and have the chops for this role.  Along with a long career in public media, I’ve served on the Alliance for Gun Responsibility for the past five years, working to pass comprehensive background checks for all gun sales in our state and other related legislation. As part of this, I worked to create a model for policies and legislation that can be used at the state and federal levels

I’ve also recently completed a workshop on policy and government where I traveled across the state and met with state, municipal and congressional leaders on various issues.

There are three issues I hope to tackle on the School Board.

The first is equity.  Our student body is diverse — multicultural, multilingual. We need to know that we’re setting them up for success no matter what their background.

The second is communication. Teachers spend five days each week in the classroom and are the best resources we have for understanding student and classroom needs. We need to make sure that when decisions are made parents, students, educators and other stakeholders have a role in shaping how those decisions are made.

Third is accountability. We need to ensure that decisions we make are data-informed, that our goals are clearly defined, so that we can be accountable that every dollar we spend as far as it is connected to student outcomes.

Every choice we make shapes the future generation. I’m Rory Graves and I’m running because we must do something.

Learn more at
Gary Noble

Gary Noble

Good evening. I’ve been involved in education for more than 30 years, and have been on the Edmonds School Board for the last 16 years.

Edmonds is a great school district, and I’m proud of our recent accomplishments.  We’ve added new state of the art schools at Alderwood, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood Elementary, Lynndale Elementary, Madrona K-8, and phase one of Spruce Elementary.  We’ve provided Chromebook computers for every student in grades 2-12, and one for every other student in Kindergarten and first grade. This has gone a long way to address the technological inequities of students in our district, while also allowing educators to more easily incorporate technology into their teaching.

My top priorities are improving student achievement, lowering class size, hiring and retaining the highest quality teachers through providing increased professional development and shared decision making, and financial integrity.  We’ve maintained sound financial integrity over the past few years through increasing funding due to the McCleary decision.

A little bit about myself: My wife and I have two children who’ve graduated from the Edmonds School District.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, I served as an Air Force officer and worked 29 years for Boeing as an engineer and a manager.

I remain active in the community.  I’m a trustee for the Foundation for Edmonds Public Schools, I’m a volunteer wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service and I’m a docent naturalist for the Northwest Stream Center.

I believe I have the knowledge, experience, and passion to continue to serve you a representative to the school board.


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