end of update
As usual, a flurry of last minute filings for Seattle School Board for the four positions up for election.
This thread is just an overview. I'll write up something separate on my thoughts on these candidates as well as how the first candidate forum on Thursday night at the 46th Democrats went.
First, a few observations:
Clearly, something has hit a boiling point in Seattle Schools where we have multiple candidates who have experience in Special Education issues.
We have two candidates with a legal background and two candidates with an engineering background.
I think we may have only one minority candidate.
One huge mystery -
Or maybe the ed reformers are going another route. However, there is one thing to keep on your radar is that the word has been passed to many candidates (across all kinds of offices) - that support for mayoral appointments to the Board will not be your friend in this election. Even Tim Burgess seems to be backing off the idea.
District 1 (Sharon Peaslee's district - she's not running)
I believe that Mr. Christophersen is a Seattle schools parent with an interest in Special Education issues. He is an engineer and was a Microsoft perma-temp (this gleaned from a Times' article where he was quoted). He was featured in a Seattle Times article about people who don't marry. He and his long-time companion have two children who I believe are in Seattle Schools. He supported Kate Martin when she ran for school Board.
Scott S. Pinkham
Mr. Pinkham is a Native American (Nez Perce, growing up on the Yakama reservation). who teaches at the University of Washington. He has two children in Seattle Schools. He is active in the Native American Clear Sky Native Youth Council.
He currently works full-time for the College of Engineering, but also teaches for the American Indian Studies department on the UW campus. He has been at UW since 1995.
District 2 - (Sherry Carr's district - she's not running)
Rick Burke is a long-time district parent/activist especially around math education. He is an engineer by trade. He has three children; two still in Seattle Schools. Website.
Through my profession, I set strategic targets, meet and negotiate with clients worldwide, develop and enforce company policies, and oversee HR and financial functions. As the partner of a teacher, I have experienced the highs and lows of the Seattle classroom experience. I've served as PTA co-president, executive chair of Where's The Math?, and co-founder of the Seattle Math Coalition. I understand how to seek out the root causes of problems, and how to apply systemic engineering principles to organizations.
Laura Obara Gramer is also a Seattle Schools parent. I'm fairly certain she's the same Laura Gramer who has been faithfully attending - and speaking - at Board meetings to advocate for her children (and others') who are deaf/hard of hearing. She has two deaf children. She has a bachelor's in Occupational Therapy.
She serves on the Mayor's Commission for People with Disabilities and has served on the board of Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services. From the Commission's webpage:
Ms. Gramer has engaged in substantial public speaking and lecturing on deafness, disability, and occupational therapy. Ms. Gramer has consistently worked to bridge the deaf and deaf-blind communities to the larger disability rights community.
District 3 (Harium Martin-Morris' district - he's not running)
Jill Geary is the mother of five children, three still in SPS. Two are Special Education students.
She is an attorney who also served as an Administrative Law Judge for OSPI, "managing all OSPI's hearings, including special education due process hearings."
She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Academy for Precision Learning in Seattle, is the Special Education PTSA Representative for Laurelhurst Elementary and a member of Seattle School District’s Special Education Advocacy and Advisory Committee.
Stephen J. Clayton
I could find very little about Mr. Clayton. I believe he lives in the Thornton Creek area and may have been a community member who gave input during discussions about that school and its property. I believe he was also an active member of the 46th (although I attended the 46th candidate forum last night and he was not on the school board candidate portion of the meeting).
Lauren has spent years working in the PTA and served as President of the Seattle Council PTSA. From her webpage:
I’ve been a member of several district committees, including Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee (FACMAC), and SPS’s Special Education Task Force. I have a professional background in quantitative analysis, communication, and change management. (Note: I had previously said she was an "accountant" but she is not.)
A perennial candidate in this district, very abrasive and unkind in his remarks about other candidates and elected officials.
District 6 (Marty McLaren's district, she is running to retain her seat)
Suzanne L. Sutton
I couldn't find much on Ms. Sutton. I believe she was/is a Pathfinder parent.
Mr. Esparza is also a perennial candidate in this district. The last time I interviewed him for this office, he could not clearly explain his qualifications nor experience. A sometimes speaker at school board meetings.
Leslie is a long-time parent and public education activist in the district. Her daughter is graduating from Chief Sealth this year where Harris has been active in the PTA. Harris is a litigation paralegal and active Democrat in both her district and the state. She has also served on boards for community college and contemporary dance.
Public disclosure: Leslie is a friend of mine.
Ms. McLaren is a former math educator, a parent whose children went thru SPS and is the grandparent of a student in Seattle Schools. She was also a preschool teacher and substitute teacher. She was also active in the PTA. She has served one term on the Seattle Schools School Board.
Website (note: this is her website since her first election so I do not know if the endorsements there are still valid. They are dated 2011.)