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Press Releases:



Nov. 4, 2023:

Thank you to this amazing teacher and their support:


Oct 31, 2023

Interview on [UN]Divided with Brandi Kruse Podcast:


Oct 26, 2023

Thank you to this Individual who took the time to speak up and share their thoughts:


Oct. 23, 2023

Thank you to all those who have taken time to contact me and ask me their questions directly as a mass-smear and misinformation campaign has been launched against me, right to your mailboxes.

While this tactic of smearing your opponent instead of trying to stand by your own merits, experiences and vision to help our schools succeed, some resort to dirt-digging, mudslinging and allude to nefarious intentions, round-about name-calling, fear mongering and diverting your attention away from the things that matter most…our kids FAILING EDUCATIONAL STATE!

I will not participate in this scheme or return any attacks or personal accusations as my integrity is worth more than any position I seek. I had high opinions of Mr. Ruiz and gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was not behind any of the social media attacks and constant downed or missing lawn-sign saga, but with this mailer, he has put his stamp of approval on it and has shown me his true intentions, and to that, I am deeply disappointed. He should show a better example to our children, but instead chose to bully and belittle, not only me, but half of the voter base in his attacks against other families of different perspectives, values and beliefs he calls “extremist.” I worry for those communities that are hurt by his words and his lack of support for them if he becomes a board member.

For a reminder and clarification of who I am and what I stand for, as I told Mr. Ruiz myself in-person, that I have had children in the Highline school district in the past and currently have a child at Sylvester, though part-time because of academic concerns. Perhaps he forgot this fact when he wrote his campaign mailer??? Up until we moved to the Normandy Park area, ALL my children attended public schools wherever we lived, such as the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 years, back east in Maryland for several years, in DOD government schools while my husband served in the Navy 11 years ago, and more recently in the Renton area, Issaquah School district. Sadly, Highline schools have a poor reputation that we learned and were cautioned about when moving to Normandy Park when it comes to Middle and High School. This isn’t my judgment, but the judgment of people who have lived here a long time and send their kids elsewhere. This is also a common theme when I visit homes, that MOST of families send their kids somewhere else or have had unfortunate experiences themselves. Don’t shoot the messenger!

So for now, I have my children in several different learning environments, such as hybrid half-day at Sylvester and part-time homeschool, two full-time at private schools, one graduated, one part-time at a day-school and one Down-Syndrome daughter in therapy centers who will be attending Highline for special needs in the coming years. I have great hopes to help our schools recover and be a place where families won’t feel afraid to send their kids and can be confident that their children will thrive, be supported and graduate for the future they choose.

This position is non-partisan and as I am running and working as an Independent, free from any control of outside influences and agendas, I realize that feels to be a threat to unions, parties, and organizations. If you will visit my PDC filing and donor page, you will see that I have funded my own campaign, along with individuals and community members who live in the Highline District and that I am truly supported by THIS community and am beholden to parents, teachers, students, and our community members; willing to work with Unions that benefit teachers and organizations that seek to help our children.

I have taken NO ENDORSEMENTS. I have not accepted any unsolicited endorsements or donor funds from groups and I don’t feel it necessary to chase around and condemn any group that feels that I am the best choice for them and recommend to their families. As a non-partisan, that means representing every group, every side, EVERY person because that is TRUE INCLUSION. Giving space for ALL, not some, but ALL people to feel heard, be respected and have their families represented too…even if you don’t like them or what they stand for. That is the position of the Board, and is not a place for partisan or political views!

I don’t play into using buzzwords, tropes, and appealing or pandering to special interest groups, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care, or disrespect those people. I see individual children, who haven’t decided their futures yet. They are ever-changing, malleable, teachable, curious, and need trusting adults to work together to help them succeed and get them through the tough adolescent years. Highline prides itself on being a place where a ‘culture of belonging’ can exist, but that door must swing both ways to students/families and communities of faith that are part of Highline too. So again, when I say I will support ALL, I am not being exclusionary, so no need to “read between the lines.”

And if the worst thing you can dig up is that I am “squeaky clean” June Cleaver over here who wants our kids to be able to read and succeed like they did in the “1950’s”, than I will take that as the highest compliment because I value honesty, integrity, treating people with respect and dignity, and in loving all people where they are and being willing to serve and share in their trials and triumphs.

I hold my position as a Mother to the highest degree! I hold our amazing Teachers in the highest regard to being there to help OUR children learn and working together to help them blossom and flourish. I trust community partners outside of school like sports and youth programs who also help OUR children become more rounded, balanced, resilient, confident and strong in their beliefs, identities and purpose. TOGETHER, WE MAKE A GREAT TEAM!!!

Thank you again for taking the time to learn the truth, from the source, and for standing up to those who will use and twist my words to be something it is not. I trust and hope you can see through it for what it is and who I am and for what I stand for:




For more info visit:

Or to reach me to ask questions:

I trust you will help me stand against any unnecessary and false attacks and will Vote “SQUEAKY CLEAN” on Nov. 7th!!!


Oct 16, 2023

Voter's Pamphlets and Ballots arrive in your mail box today!

If you have not registered to vote, the deadline is Oct. 30th!


Oct. 19, 2023

Burien News Story of Open Question to Highline School Board Candidates asking, "How to Do We Improve Academic Results?"

Melissa Petrini – District 4 Candidate

Five years ago, my family moved to Normandy Park and we enrolled our children in the Highline schools, but I later discovered that my 4th grader at Marvista Elementary could not read and was falling way behind. Even with a 504 Educational Plan, I didn’t feel that my child was getting the help and academic support she needed as outlined in state laws. It took me four years of dedicated one-on-one time to remediate and bring her up to speed.

According to Washington State law, “the goals of each school district… shall be to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills essentials to: (1) Read with comprehension, write effectively, and communicate  successfully…; (2) Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history…”

The first step to any problem is to acknowledge the issue and then face it head on. OPSI Chris Reykdal, discussed in a podcast interview in August that the State Reporting Assessments is not really a comprehensive indicator or measurement of our students’ success. To which we must ask, as parents, ‘what is the metric or quantitative measure we should be comparing the health of our schools’ academic performance, if not the standardized testing?’

Highline adopted in June of this year a Strategic Plan, outlining the fundamental priorities for the district: Culture of Belonging, Innovative Learning, Bilingual & Biliterate and being Future Ready. Innovative Learning is defined as creating “academic experiences that engage, empower, and challenge every student.” While it is good to pay attention to experiences, is this achieving state required standards? How does this translate when applying for college or future employment?

As a Highline director, I would suggest improving academic success for all students by returning to science-based learning strategies and methods, especially for reading, our most fundamental learning building block. Across the nation, reading fell over the past two decades, even pre-pandemic, as we moved away from teaching phonetics and other time-tested tools that students can build upon. This type of foundational language instruction is even more important for English Language Learners.

Ideally, we could use some of the remaining ESSER, Covid Relief funds to pay for private tutors, as seen in other recovering districts.

Highline has continued to lag behind other neighboring districts so we must place academics at the top of their priority list. I believe in our students’ capabilities, our teachers’ dedication, and our supportive community to rally around to help them succeed.  As a director, I want to help keep Highline’s Promise of helping students to graduate “prepared for the future they choose.”  

Thank you for your vote – Melissa Petrini


Oct. 10, 2023

Statement about League of Women Voters Highline School Board Forum:

“Thank you to the League of Women Voters for sponsoring and to the King County Burien Library for hosting the Forum event tonight.

I had every intention to attend, however, due to questions that I posed to the League weeks ago about a Recording Agreement that went unanswered for weeks, I decided to forgo this event as I did not feel respected as a candidate. For those of you who have specific questions, I welcome your inquiries and will be happy to answer you. Please contact me personally at

I am a mother of 6 children, two with special needs, and another with learning challenges. Four years ago, my daughter’s 504 educational plan was largely ignored, so I was forced to pull her out of her highline public school. I needed to personally tutor, remediate and get my child to where they should have been and be able to read.

Up until that year, my children had ALWAYS been in public schools only, and my goal is to help them return.

BUT It's tough to ignore the glaringly low academic records of our district anymore. According to Washington state, every 2 out of 3 kids fail to meet standards in Reading, Math and Science.

I am running to support equitable education for all, because while some families have the resources to choose other options most do not.

Nothing is more EQUITABLE than making sure ALL our kids can read and have access to a quality education!

My goal as a director would be for the district to make a hard turn back to re-focus on academics. We need to let parents contribute and participate as partners in all aspects of their children’s education and upbringing.

Our teachers, paraeducators, and classified staff deserve more support, higher-pay, more control and simplified expectations so they can focus on the things they were trained to do. We ask so much of them and yet we are so hard on them. Our failing record is NOT a reflection of our teachers, but instead of the learning standards, and the ever-increasing burden we place on teachers. I hope to encourage better communication that builds trust and partnership with parents, while respecting family values and beliefs.

Throughout my adult life, I have worked with youth and children, including running an Autism Therapy Center in California and teaching special needs dance and music classes. I have organized and volunteered for youth, community and school groups, citizen city budget committee, PTAs, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion parent group, Highline’s curriculum committee, advocating for local recreational programs, as well as serving on the St. Anne Hospital Foundation Board. Currently, I am on the board of a local non-profit that seeks to bring people back together across the cultural, societal and political divide.

I am thoroughly prepared for the rigor of advocating for all voices and perspectives. By listening and learning, I can help assure that people will feel heard, respected and valued.

I welcome the opportunity to work with, serve with and support our students, teachers and parents to better help our children thrive and give them the tools they need to pursue any path they choose.

Again, I wish I could have attended this evening in person but I look forward to hearing from you at

Thank you and I ask for your Vote!"


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