Meghin Margel. COURTESY PHOTO, Linkedin.com

Meghin Margel. COURTESY PHOTO, Linkedin.com

Kent School Board appoints Meghin Margel as new member

A BECU director and mother of two Kent students will fill vacant seat

Meghin Margel, a BECU director and mother of two students in the Kent School District, will be sworn in Sept. 14 as the new member of the Kent School Board.

The board voted 4-0 to appoint Margel to the vacant District No. 2 position after interviewing three candidates during a Sept. 1 special meeting.

Margel, a graduate of Kentridge High School, has a daughter who will be a freshman at Kentridge and a son in the sixth grade at Ridgewood Elementary School. She has worked nearly 11 years at BECU, including the last six years as director of lending solution, according to linkedin.com.

She graduated from the University of Washington with a political science degree and has worked about 30 years in the financial industry. She recently earned a master’s of business administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

“I am interested in being on the board because I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me,” Margel said during her interview with the board.

Margel replaces Michele Bettinger. She resigned June 21 and said she no longer felt professionally or personally safe asking questions, trying to get items on the agenda for discussion or while attending executive sessions. Voters elected Bettinger to a four-year term in November 2019. Her term expires November 2023.

Margel was a treasurer on the Ridgewood Elementary PTA for two years. She said she and her husband have volunteered for years in classrooms with reading programs and other duties.

“I want to make sure that all of our students have doors wide open to them and that they have the same opportunities to be able to make those choices of where they take their careers and their education,” Margel said.

When asked about equity and diversity in the district, Margel said each are important.

“Equity to me is a point of celebration, to make sure that we have the voices of the many different aspects of our community heard, and making sure we are meeting those needs,” she said.

Margel admitted she won’t always have the answers to issues.

“I try to be as humble as I can,” she said. “There’s so much I know that I don’t even know. Hopefully, I’m a lifelong learner and I hope we inspire that in everybody.”

Margel said she won’t hesitate to ask questions and plans to work as a board member open to ideas from others.

“It comes down to tangible things, listening and communicating and being willing to know that you don’t have all the best ideas but are willing to listen to those that have good ideas,” Margel said.

Other finalists

The board initially selected Margel, Andy Carter, Fred Struck and Jo Woods as finalists from 15 applicants. The applicants had to live in District No. 2, which generally is in the northeast section of the Kent School District near Lake Youngs. Schools in District 2 include Kentridge High School, Northwood Middle School, Meeker Middle School and several elementary schools.

Struck dropped out after being named a finalist. The board at an Aug. 29 special meeting picked Matthew Stoner to replace Struck. But Stoner turned down the invitation to do an interview. The board then selected Mark Emelko as a finalist.

Carter and Emelko were interviewed by the board. Woods set up to do a Zoom interview during the special meeting but didn’t sign on at her appointed time, so the board moved into executive session to choose a new member. The board reconvened in open session to vote for Margel.


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