I’m Nancy Button. I’m running for the Ferndale School Board. I taught in the district for 20 years, retiring in 2021, and now wish to serve students and families in a new way. Our two children attended Ferndale schools, as well. As a parent and educator in Ferndale, I’ve seen both sides of the public school experience and will provide a different, valuable perspective to the board.

As a teacher I saw the effects of decisions made by the board and administration on teachers, students and learning. I saw many ‘reforms’ come and go, over two decades, and none of them improved student learning. Test scores have not improved since the Covid-19 learning loss, and they weren’t anything to be proud of before that. Here are some percentages to illustrate academic achievement and per pupil spending.

Students meeting state grade level standards in Ferndale: (OSPI-NAEP)

School Year Reading/Writing Math Science Per-Pupil Spending
2022-23 45.6 33.9 43.9 $19,275
2021-22 47.3 33.9 44.2 $18,200
2020-21 46.2 26.7 58.1 $15,132
2019-20 —–NO—– —–STATE—– —–TESTING—– $15,141
2018-19 57.6 42.5 50 $14,723
2017-18 53.5 41.5 47.7 $13,575


I believe we need to change how we teach children. The one size fits all model isn’t working. We need to be open to different models of instruction and look to successful schools as examples to pilot here in Ferndale. They exist. Using existing funds, and not raising taxes, we can do better by our kids. Innovation, not another reform, is critical to student success.