Sunday, July 23, 2017

Andre Helmstetter for District V

It took me awhile to get here but, after careful consideration, I am endorsing Andre Helmstetter for Board position V.

I have great respect for both Alec Cooper and Zachary DeWolf and, as I pointed out in an earlier post, they are both good candidates.

But Andre has long shown a commitment to this region's children, starting back when he fought the closing of TT Minor Elementary School in 2008. 

Andre's professional background as a consultant in the area of public policy and process and as a facilitator would be valuable skills to bring to the Board. He is a calm and thoughtful person who also has a good sense of humor (something greatly lacking in the current holder of this post).

Andre also has a background in volunteering which is a topic close to my heart.  He has volunteer in PTA, coached chess at Leschi Elementary and been a mentor at the King County Juvenile Detention Center.

I believe he is the best choice for Position V. 


A.Samuelsen said...

It is excellent to have this support for Andre! He is the best candidate for this seat, and to have his skills, experience and dedication recognized by Melissa is a critical step toward securing the District 5 school board seat. I hope that readers take this endorsement to heart and cast their votes for Helmstetter. He has a lengthy list of outstanding supporters on his web page: Please consider him!

Voting Helmstetter said...

I am supporting Andre Helmstetter, too. As Melissa points out, Helmstetter has been involved with the district since 2008. He helped organize opposition 2008 school closures. Had the district listened, Seattle Public Schools would have saved tens of millions of dollars.

Helmstettler was once a high school drop-out. With the support of invaluable teachers, he graduated high school and went on to college. With a passion for public service, he was a mentor at King County Youth Detention Center, served in the US Navy, volunteered as a Precinct Committee Officer in the 37th Legislative District, created a chess club for children in south Seattle and he helped organize against the misguided (and ultimately reversed) 2008-2009 school closures. While in the Navy, Helmstettler was tasked with managing the ship's computer and radar systems. In addition to a background in technology, Helmstettler works as a senior consultant for a company that helps large organizations run more efficiently...including experience on process and policy improvement in city, county and state agencies such as the Massachusetts Dept. of Early Education and Care, South Carolina Department of Social Services and Department of Health and Human Services. Andre Helmstettler has been a resident of the Central Area for the past 18 year; he has deep roots in the Central Area and understands his community. With a background in policy, technology and operations, he is uniquely qualified to serve on Seattle's school board.

Helmstetter has received significant organizational support. He received the SOLE endorsement of the 36th and 37th Legislative districts, and endorsements from the 43rd and King County Democrats, too.

Helmstetter has lived in the Central Area for 18 years. He was once a business owner in the Central Area. "Not many shop owners would view their business as a hub for social good. Helmstetter brought survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the cafe to link up with services." At one point, gang activity resulted in gun shots hitting Helmstetter's small business. He did not leave. Why? He felt youth needed a role model.

He seeks to support organizational efficiency, achievement and inclusion for all students, address pressing issues such as disproportionate discipline, curriculum for vulnerable students etc.

Anonymous said...

District V- Andre would be great. Actually, fortunate to have three great candidates running Andre, Alec, Zachary. Great choice! The mayor race also has some great choices as well. We are fortunate this time around.

Anonymous said...

Is this because one candidate saw your recommend and reported it out as an endorsement?

The timing feels a bit...

Volunteering for PTA or PT essay is nice, but that again won't help and incumbent wrestle with an incredibly complex billion dollar budget.

The skill set necessary it's not just a passion for public education, but also a ferocious analytical mind and executive experience.

Those are what are necessary in order to be able to push back SPS staff effectively as necessary.

Therefore ALEC COOPER is who gets our votes.

Go Vote

Carol Simmons said...

Thank you Melissa,

Andre Helmstetter also received the endorsement from the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle. This organization (MDC) is one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the State. The membership is composed of long time activists, public education advocates, and other citizens who have gone on record to support Seattle Public School students and their families.

Anonymous said...

Go Vote,

Thankfully, Helmstetter is in full possession of a 'ferociously analytical mind' as well as 'executive experience.'

His professional background, outstanding endorsements and personal commitment to being a team player and consensus builder on the Seattle School Board are easily accessed here:

Already Voted

Melissa Westbrook said...

Go Vote, the accidental inclusion of my name on Cooper's campaign materials had nothing to do with it. I continue to state I know it was in error.

Go Vote, that's fine to support Cooper but to say that all Helmstetter has going for him is volunteer work (which Cooper also touts) is wrong. Helmstetter's professional background is a fine foundation for school board work.

I think both men have strengths to bring to the Board from their professional backgrounds but yes, they are different.

Voting Helmstetter said...

Andre Helmstetter absolutely has a background in finance and operational efficiency.

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Wondering said...

Now that Cooper knows Melissa didn't endorse him, when is he going to take Melissa's endorsement off of his web page?

Cooper's web page as of this am:

Melissa Westbrook, Save Seattle Schools Blog"

Cap hill said...

Wondering - It took it off a week ago, but now that I have checked, I see that the site didn't republish. I've manually republished it and it is off. Thank you for spotting it. Alec

Wondering said...

I'm also wondering why the Seattle Times recommended a complete white slate of candidates. Left to the Seattle Times, we would have an entire white board with the exception of one member.

mirmac1 said...

I support Andre.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wondering, the Times never quite makes sense and right now, a nearly all-white Board is not what this district needs.

PAA Member said...

Great piece about Andre Helmstetter:

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