Meet Sara

 

Sara Betnel standing outside smiling

Sara is a longtime resident of Shoreline (and now Lake Forest Park) and mother of two elementary aged children who have attended Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center, Brookside Elementary, and Cascade K-8 School.

Sara has been an active community advocate with District PTA, the School Board, and the State Legislature for many years; working to achieve full funding for the school district, lowering class sizes, increasing equity in district policies and practices, supporting diversity in the curriculum and staff to reflect the community being served, and leading efforts to help the most vulnerable students and families.

As a working mother and educator, Sara knows how being involved in our children’s education is one of the most important ways we help them be their best selves and achieve personal success. 

In Olympia, she has met with legislators and testified in support of fully funding public schools, lowering class sizes, funding social emotional learning and school safety measures, and including nurses, librarians, and counselors as part of the definition of basic education.

As the Legislative Chair for PTA Council, which serves the entire district, Sara has seen and experienced how difficult it is for students and parents to be informed and participate in the decisions that impact their daily lives. She has actively worked with parents throughout the District to advocate with the Board for issues impacting them - from special education to anti-bullying and harassment to diverse curriculum to food security and more.

Through her deep relationships across the District, she has witnessed where inequities persist for our lower income families, students with disabilities, and communities of color and has worked to address these with local leadership at all levels.

And, in conversation with current students, she has learned how their lived experience in our schools is not matching up with the expectations set by District policies and goals.

“I love this community and Shoreline Schools deeply. As a board member I will be a voice for transparency, inclusion, and equity, ensuring the people we serve are the first we hear from and consider when making decisions.”

Sara testifying for lifting the levy lid and fully funding public schools with the House Appropriations Committee in Olympia

Sara and her daughter getting out the vote for Shoreline SchoolsSara discussing public school funding with Governor Jay Inslee

With a background in education and the arts, Sara has been a communications professional for over 20 years, working to advance the mission of national nonprofits, community foundations, and businesses doing good in the world, most recently as the sole proprietor of Reveal Communications.

She has taught at the elementary and college level and is married to a life-long educator who teaches math and science at a local high school.

In addition to her advocacy work, she has been involved in empowering youth through coaching a youth soccer team for the last three years, supporting youth advocacy by shepherding a group of elementary age children through the process of getting legislation in front of local council and state representatives, and facilitating community action by a group of students in response to a national issue.

“Shoreline Schools are some of the best in the state. Even so, we have places where students are under-served and under-supported, which it is time to address. I am ready to help our community be heard and work with the District to make the promise of its mission to serve all students a reality.”


Have a question?

Please feel free to contact me at any time - I look forward to hearing from you!