Karen Edwards

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Karen Edwards
Karen Edwards.jpg
Former candidate for
Puyallup School Board, Position 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sFlorida State University
Master'sUniversity of Washington
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Army
ProfessionGrant coordinator
Campaign website
Karen Edwards was a candidate for the Position 4 seat on the Puyallup School Board in Washington. She was defeated by fellow challenger Kathy Yang in the November 5, 2013 general election. Edwards campaigned to improve district communications with parents and provide greater access to innovative programs.


Edwards earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Florida State University. She later earned a Master's of Public Health from the University of Washington. Edwards served for five years in the Medical Services Corps in the U.S. Army. She currently works as a grant coordinator at the University of Washington Medical Center and serves on the Edgerton PTA. Edwards and her husband, John, have two children attending district schools.[1]



See also: Puyallup School District elections (2013)


Edwards and Kathy Yang sought election to the Position 4 seat on November 5, 2013.


General election
Puyallup School Board, Four-year term, Position 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKathy Yang 50.9% 11,988
     Nonpartisan Karen Edwards 48.5% 11,421
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.6% 137
Total Votes 23,546
Source: Pierce County Elections, "November 5, 2013 General Election," November 25, 2013

Edwards placed second in the August 6, 2013 primary for the board's Position 4 seat. Edwards and Kathy Yang advanced to the general election on November 5, 2013.[2]

Puyallup School Board, Position 4, August 6 Primary, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKathy Yang 47.5% 5,622
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKaren Edwards 37.4% 4,424
     Nonpartisan Margie Silver 15.1% 1,792
Total Votes 11,838
Source: Pierce County Elections, "August 6, 2013 Primary," August 20, 2013


Edwards reported $10,096.35 in contributions and $9,928.50 in expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which left her campaign with $167.85 on hand.[3]


The Bellingham Herald endorsed Edwards for the November 5, 2013 board election.[4] Edwards also received the endorsement of the Pierce County Democrats on October 15, 2013.[5]

Campaign themes


Edwards provided the following statement for the Local Voters' Pamphlet published by Pierce County:[6]

"When the Army brought us back to Washington 11 years ago, we chose Puyallup for the schools and to be close to family. We are invested in this school district with our two children, who are in the third and fifth grade. I am running for School Board because I want parents to choose Puyallup for its high quality schools once again, like we did years ago.

Volunteering in the Puyallup School District for the past five years has shown me that our district is not reaching its full potential. We should be offering all students the choice to participate in innovative district-run programs while promoting equity and fiscal responsibility. Further, the District could do more to communicate with parents and our community about the services they provide and the resources required to make these programs successful. These are my top priorities as your next School Board member.

Parents, students and teachers in our District deserve a change from the status quo. I will work tirelessly to ensure our Puyallup Schools are exceptional, that we focus on communication , and that we offer the most innovative and cost-effective educational opportunities our children deserve."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbent Pat Donovan won a second full term in Position 1 against challenger Noreen Wolfe. The Position 4 race included Edwards and Kathy Yang, who advanced from the August 6th primary against third-place finisher Margie Silver.


The district cut overall expenditures by $1.7 million from 2011 to 2012 while enrollment only decreased by 0.5% in those years. In the District 4 primary, Yang, Edwards and Silver discussed the need for additional funding to anticipate enrollment growth. In February 2013, voters in Puyallup School District failed to pass the 60% threshold for a new bond worth $279.6 million.[7]

About the district

See also: Puyallup School District, Washington
Puyallup School District is located in Pierce County, Washington
The City of Puyallup is located in Pierce County in northwestern Washington. The population of Puyallup was 37,022 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[8]


Puyallup lags behind the state averages for higher education achievement while outperforming averages for median income and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (22.4%) is below the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Puyallup's median income at $61,099 while the state median income was $58,890. Puyallup had a poverty rate of 9.1% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Puyallup (%) Washington (%)
White 84.4 77.3
Black or African American 2.1 3.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4 1.5
Asian 3.8 7.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.7 0.6
Two or More Races 5.5 4.7
Hispanic or Latino 6.9 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[9]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 54.4 43.3
2008 54.9 42.8
2004 50.4 48.0
2000 51.4 44.0

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[10]

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