Wenatchee School Board President Maria Iñiguez Running for Re-Election
Current Wenatchee School Board President Maria Iñiguez is running for re-election this year.
Iñiguez is running for Wenatchee School District’s (WSD) district 2 seat alongside newcomer candidate Randy Smith.
Last year, the board replaced their at-large voting system with a regional district voting system, dividing four of the five districts into separate geographic areas and leaving all seats available for newcomers.
This change was made in order to avoid a possible violation of the Washington Voting Rights Act.
Iñiguez was first appointed as WSD board director in 2020 and was elected the following year.
As a seasoned public servant for the district, Iñiguez believes she makes a strong candidate due to her extensive experience in education.
“The school district is going to be going through some transition with the new superintendent. So it's really important that we keep some stability on the board and that continuity that's going to help that transition between Superintendent [Bill] Eagle into Superintendent [Dr. Kory] Kalahar.”
Throughout her 18-year career in education, Iñiguez worked as an Executive Assistant to the Wenatchee Valley College President, and also served as an Administrative Secretary, State and Federal Program Specialist, Migrant/Bilingual Director Secretary and Migrant Home Visitor for the WSD.
Iñiguez earned a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Art and Sciences with an emphasis in education and a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies for the University of Washington in Tacoma.
“I focused my graduate degree in education, specifically on standardized testing and the impact standardized tests have on students of color,” Iñiguez said.
Iñiguez states that her personal experience as a first-generation Mexican-American student gives her a unique perspective on educational decisions.
“I was a student, I'm an English-language learner, I'm a first-generation high school graduate, college graduate,” Iñiguez said. “I know the struggles of receiving support and benefits from my school.”
Regarding upcoming budget cuts and staff reductions, Iñiguez said she is hopeful that enrollment numbers will kick up by the next school year.
“I think what's going to be important next year, just as it was this current year, is to continue that transparency,” Iñiguez said. “Let's be frank, let's be open, let's get ahead of it because we owe it to our constituents, but also to our staff and our students to be upfront and forthcoming about the next steps and how it's going to impact each building, the district, personnel etc.”
Outside of the school board, Iñiguez volunteers for the district’s College Mentor Program and AVID. She is also involved with the Community Foundation of NCW, the Community For the Advancement of Education (CAFE), Washington State’s Latino Civic Alliance, and is a Union Secretary for Wenatchee Public School Employees (PSE).