BeSerra and Crabtree seek Federal Way School Board seats; Smith declines re-election bid

Two Federal Way residents have announced their candidacies for the Federal Way School Board.

Carrie BeSerra is a stay-at-home mom who formerly worked in the health care industry. She has a degree in speech and hearing sciences from University of Washington, and her three children attend Twin Lakes Elementary School. She is also active in her church, homeowners association and children’s activities.

“We can also help our students be the best they can be by making certain that all our schools are effective schools. Effective schools maximize learning for all students,” BeSerra said in a news release. She wants to improve leadership as well as communication between the school district, board and public. Contact her at

BeSerra will seek position 3, which is held by Amye Bronson-Doherty. Bronson-Doherty was first elected to the board in 2007, and serves as the board’s vice president and legislative liaison in Olympia. The Mirror has not yet confirmed whether she will run for re-election. She has a history of volunteering in Federal Way schools and currently works for the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce’s Advancing Leadership program; she is a 2006 graduate of that program. Bronson-Doherty has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Mexico.

Gail Crabtree will seek board position 2, which is held by Suzanne Smith. Crabtree has co-chaired two Federal Way High School class reunions and has served as board president for the Star Lake Improvement Club. She has also volunteered in ESL and Saturday school at Totem Middle School. "My main thing is to see that the programs and policies for grade school are working so the kids can succeed in junior high," she said.

For the past 13 years, Crabtree has been traveling to Romania to help poor children. She has three children who graduated from Federal Way schools. Contact her at

Smith, who was elected to the board in 2007, will not seek re-election. Smith lives in the Star Lake area and wants to be more active in 33rd District and Kent politics. Smith said her proudest accomplishment on the Federal Way School Board was helping to bring a dual language program to Sunnycrest Elementary School, which has a large Hispanic student population. Smith’s service on the board marked a culmination of her school volunteerism, she said.

“It’s a good time to bring in new leadership,” she said, noting the board’s need to increase its conversations and interactions with the public. “I love being on the board, and I love the work we’re doing, but I think it’s time for me personally to move on.”

Learn more

For updated information from the Public Disclosure Commission on local candidates, visit To learn more about 2011 elections and candidate filing deadlines, visit the King County Elections website.

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