Steven H. Smith
|Steven H. Smith|
|Bellingham Board of Directors, Position 4|
|Years in position||5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 3, 2009|
|Bachelor's||Western Washington University|
|Master's||Oklahoma State University|
|Ph.D.||Arizona State University|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Smith earned his B.B.A. in Accounting from Iowa State University. He later earned an M.S. in Accounting from Oklahoma State University and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Smith has been an accounting professor at Western Washington University since 1999. He and his wife have two children who have graduated from district schools.
Smith sought re-election against challenger John H. Blethen on November 5, 2013.
|Bellingham Board of Directors, Four-year term, Position 4, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Steven H. Smith Incumbent||53.5%||14,725|
|Nonpartisan||John H. Blethen||46.5%||12,779|
|Source: Whatcom County Elections, "November 5, 2013 General Election," November 26, 2013|
Smith won the August 6, 2013 primary for the Position 4 seat on the board. Smith and challenger John H. Blethen advanced to the November 5, 2013 general election.
|Bellingham Board of Directors, Primary, Position 4, August 6, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Steven H. Smith Incumbent||53.1%||6,904|
|Nonpartisan||John H. Blethen||29.2%||3,791|
|Source: Whatcom County Elections|
Smith reported no contributions or expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.
Smith first won election to the board on November 3, 2009 against fellow challenger Rogan Jones.
|Bellingham Board of Directors, Position 4, November 3, 2009|
|Nonpartisan||Steven H. Smith||52.9%||10,996|
|Source: Whatcom County Elections|
Smith provided the following statement for the Local Voters' Pamphlet in Whatcom County:
"Our schools should be places that our children are safe to explore new ideas, inspired to reach their highest potential, and provide a multi-faceted education. Each child should have an education that enhances their unique strengths, which means that the curriculum should provide a solid foundation and yet be flexible enough to meet individual student needs. Arts and music education help students develop creative thinking. Self-confidence and a strong work ethic provide students with structural integrity, so that when failures occur students are able to learn from them and carry on. Working together -educators, parents, and community - we can provide a quality education to all students. If you re-elect me as your school board member, I will continue to seek your counsel, listen to your concerns, approach issues with an open mind, and work to make Bellingham’s schools centers for academic excellence for all children.
My core beliefs for public education: A strong foundation in reading, writing, and math is imperative; Students must learn strategies to solve complex problems; Sometimes, learning requires a strong work ethic, perseverance and uninterrupted concentration; Quality teachers, staff and administrators are the most important asset of the school district."
What was at stake?
Themes in Position 4 race
The district has experienced a 3.5% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012 while the district budget was cut by $1.5 million between 2011 and 2012. A major issue in the Position 4 race is the closure of Larrabee Elementary School slated for the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Smith voted along with three board members to close the school due to poor performance and long-term renovation plans for district schools. Blethen and Hue Beattie challenged Smith in the August 6, 2013 primary due to his vote on Larrabee Elementary. Stockburger was the lone vote to prevent Larrabee's closure and does not face opposition for his seat.
Smith also faced a primary challenge due to his support for a $160 million bond on the November 5, 2013 ballot. The bond would support renovation of district facilities including $73 million for Sehome High School and a $17 million remodeling of district offices. Beattie believed that community involvement in renovation could bring down costs while Blethen argued for a more gradual renovation process that would not require a large bond measure.
About the district
- See also: Bellingham School District, Washington
Bellingham outperforms state averages for higher education achievement while lagging behind in median income and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (38.6%) exceeds the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Bellingham's median income at $39,299 while the state median income was $58,890. Bellingham had a poverty rate of 22.6% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.
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.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Steven + Smith + Bellingham + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Whatcom County Elections, "Local Voters' Pamphlet," accessed September 3, 2013
- The Bellingham Herald, "OUR VIEW: Herald endorses Roxanne Murphy, Steve Smith in Bellingham primary election," July 13, 2013
- The Bellingham Herald, "Our endorsements for Nov. 5, 2013, Whatcom County elections," October 28, 2013
- Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Local Candidates," accessed December 17, 2013
- The Bellingham Herald, "Larrabee Elementary closure a motivator for challengers in school board race, July 21, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Bellingham," accessed August 30, 2013
- Whatcom County Auditor, "Election History," accessed August 30, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014