Karina Vega-Villa

Campaign Issues

I am running for school board because our school district needs to create opportunities for the future leaders of our state to achieve their potential.  

I am an educator, a community leader, a scientist, and a mom. I see the big picture as well as the small pieces and how they affect each other. My passion is building bridges to connect people and resources that often seem disconnected.  

I am an educator. I connect students with resources to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers at Wenatchee Valley College. Washington State is a national leader in STEM careers, and we need to prepare students for the careers of the future. It’s estimated that Washington State will have 245,000 job openings in the next 5 years in science and engineering alone (1). Students need strong skills to pursue Washington’s highest demand career pathways, which include health care, science technology, and manufacturing (2).

Additionally, I want students with interests outside of STEM to develop excellence in diverse subjects. Regardless of our student’s career goal, the role of supportive adults who model the values of education, perseverance, and hard work is fundamental for students in our district. Our school district must equip all students with the skills they need to succeed in the career they choose to pursue. 

I am a community leader. I have been a CASA volunteer serving children in foster care as the friendly grown-up who stayed with them as they transitioned through different stages of their journey to a stable home. I have also volunteered at my child’s PTSA as an advocate to make every child’s potential a reality. These experiences have taught me that it takes a village to educate a child and we all have a role to play in the lives of the children in our valley. Over the past twenty years, regional demographics have shifted. Our community now has a large Latinx population. Our schools need a multicultural mindset that engages the cultural capital of all our communities. A multicultural mindset allows us to see ourselves in the person most unlike us (3).

I am a scientist. My experience in industry developing medicine with a systems pharmacology approach has been key to focus on the big picture without forgetting the role of the individual pieces. I'm interested in science communication projects that improve collaboration, discovery, education, and public policy in STEM. As a board member, I have and will continue to employ an evidence-based approach to collaboratively respond to the needs of all our students – identifying what is working well, what needs improvement, and how it all comes together. 

I am a mom. I have two small children attending schools in the Wenatchee School District. They have taught me to listen attentively, to breathe when things don’t go as planned, and to see the world with eyes of wonder. They remind me every day that we are naturally curious beings and that we learn about the world around us by trial and error. Most importantly, they have helped me to understand Duwamish Chief Sealth’s words: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.“