EVERETT — Jen Hirman, a regional leader of the Washington State Parent Teacher Association, will replace state Rep. April Berg on the Everett School Board.
Board members unanimously appointed Hirman to the vacant seat Tuesday evening after interviewing five candidates for the position.
Hirman, of Mill Creek, has been an active volunteer with Everett Public Schools for more than a decade. She’s served on math adoption teams, the elementary school boundary committee and the high school growth mitigation committee.
She has two daughters in the district: an upcoming ninth-grader and a 2022 high school graduate.
“I love to be engaged in the schools, so I’ve always loved being in the schools (as a volunteer). It’s such a dynamic environment,” Hirman told The Herald. “For me, as a school board member, I’m hoping to be in the schools, listening to students and staff on what they think we can do to improve our whole educational experience.”
She brings more than a decade of formal schooling in education policy, including a doctorate degree in education leadership and policy from Arizona State University. Her dissertation and most of her work focused on charter schools, but she sees similarities between her research and Everett schools. For example, Everett offers parents a choice to sign up for non-traditional school programs such as the Lighthouse Elementary Cooperative, the Emerson Elementary School dual-language immersion program and the Everett Virtual Academy.
“My background in charter schools is playing out here in Everett in allowing families to have a choice in their child’s education while still staying in the district,” Hirman said.
Hirman will be sworn in at the June 28 board meeting, and will serve through the general election in November 2023.
Berg, elected to a six-year term in 2019, resigned on June 1 to focus on her family and duties as a state lawmaker.
“The breadth and depth of the applicants’ qualifications made this a very difficult decision,” board president Pam LeSesne said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to returning to a full board as the new school year begins and are excited to work with Ms. Hirman as she continues to advocate for children and education.”
Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.