Puyallup School Board Elections

 When the new school board is elected Nov.5, current president Chris Ihrig will serve out his last term. 

Ihrig had three children in the district. He was a father doing the best he could by his children in terms of their education, but with all three of his children having graduated, Ihrig feels it’s time to pass the torch. 

“I feel giving 10 years of service to something is a decent amount of time,” Ihrig said. “My advice for the next person to hold office is to be able to work in a team and not to come in with your own agenda.” 

Currently, Turan Kayaoglu is running unopposed for Ihrig’s presidential Position No. 5. Kayaoglu is a professor of International Relations at The University of Washington Tacoma, an author of two books, a visiting professor at Quatar University and before running for school board he was the legislative representative at his daughter’s school, Meeker Elementary.  

“I want to bring a more diverse perspective to the Puyallup School District,” Kayaoglu said. “In 2013, 13 percent of all students in the district were students of color, now it’s 45 percent.” 

 Kayagolu’s parents stressed his learning and through this he saw how important a quality education is. Before he immigrated to Washington, he studied hard in his home country to get where he is today.  

“Both of my parents were illiterate, so I value education very much,” Kayaoglu said. “With being on the school board I want to be able to ensure students that seek out secondary education have the skills and knowledge to succeed. If a student comes into class not knowing how to write a thesis, they are going to have a very difficult time.” 

Last year there were many decisions made in the school district that are being felt this year. The introduction of 1-1 devices, larger class sizes and teacher layoffs. Being a teacher himself, Kayaoglu says he wants to make sure the people behind the profession are well cared for.  

“I want to make sure teachers are well respected,” Kayaogolu said.