Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Seattle School Board Candidates Filings So Far

Updated 6/9/11 to include additional candidates.
Update: I have long advocated for anyone who runs to take a basic finance course at a community college so the candidate would at least know how to read a spreadsheet. This is a large, complex organization and it's easy to get lost and then depend solely on staff for information.

I note that UW's Extension course has a 9-month program, Certificate in School District Business Leadership, that looks very good for any potential School Board candidate. It's not cheap but you can take the courses separately. It covers a lot of ground that any candidate might need to get up to speed on in order to do the work.

District 1
Peter Maier www.petermaierforschoolboard.com
John Cummings - cummingsforschoolboard@gmail.com
Sharon Peaslee - sharonpeaslee@gmail.com

District 2
Sherry Carr - www.carr4kids.com
Jack Whelan - jackwhelan1@comcast.net
Kate Martin - www.katemartinforschoolboard.com
Terrence J. Menage - mmigrant@aol.com
Mark T. Weber - www.Weber4SeattleSchools.com

District 3
Harium Martin-Morris - www.harium.org
David Blomstrom - www.seattle-mafia.org
Michelle Buetow - www.buetowforschoolboard.com
John Dunn - www.johndunnforschoolboard.org

District 6
Steve Sundquist - www.sundquist4schools.com
Marty McLaren - www.marty4SSD.com
Charita Dumas - ptamami08@yahoo.com
Joy Anderson - joyousanderson@gmail.com

I'm sure Michelle Buetow will be filing soon to run against Harium.

I have only spoke with John Cummings. I hope to interview all the candidates for their experience and potential.

I have done this business before of trying to flip the majority of the School Board. Last time it worked and even though the 4 people who won did not run as a slate, the campaign evolved to put them together that way. I was thrilled when they won but it was short-term as they all had very different viewpoints and agendas that never got reconciled.

I am now not of the view "anyone but the incumbent." Someone has to know the district, understand the issues and be willing to act in their full capacity as an elected School Board member and not just act as a rubber-stamp. It is unlikely that I would vote for any of the incumbents but I might just registered myself as non-committed to other candidates.

Candidate filings are open until Friday, June 10th.


Ed Doc said...

Keep up the good work! I do have one candidate I support at this time to defeat an incumbent and hope to be able to learn more about others and support them as well. I truly appreciate the service you are providing our community and respect the manner in which you are approaching the elections; continuing to hold out hope that all incumbents are replaced with people that will work together for the good of our schools and our children.

Kathy said...

Any options for individuals to file after June 10th?

Charlie Mas said...

June 10 is the deadline.

View candidates on the King County site here.

Greg said...

Does John Cummings have a website? Jack Whelen? Terrence Menage? Hard to learn more about these candidates if they don't have a website.

RosieReader said...

I would hope that you also ask them about their experiences working in an oversight capacity, or their governance experience if you will.

They don't get to manage (let alone micromanage) but they also shouldn't rubber stamp.

RosieReader said...

Just googled John Cummings and didn't find anything that looked like a potential candidate.

Chris S. said...

Heh me too, he's either an ex-mariner or a McClure teacher. We'll just have to wait.

dan dempsey said...

There will certainly be more filings before the week is over. Filing is easy. Look for Harium to have at least two opponents. I sure would like to see at least two opponents for Peter Maier.

It will be interesting to see voting results from the August primary. Without at least three candidates for a position there is no primary.

dan dempsey said...

About Mark T. Weber... from his website

"It is a shame Sherry Carr and I live in the same district and because of this, I am forced to run against her for this office. Sherry has proven herself to be a tireless, selfless advocate for children, families, and schools. Sherry and I do not see eye-to-eye on all the issues but there is no question as to her fine character, integrity, and dedication."

Thus far his posted information looks like "too much business" and not enough "academic content" focus.

Has Mark T. Weber been involved in any school district issues and taken a position on any?

Has he testified at school board meetings?
Has he blog posted anywhere?
What record is available?

Just asking ... for more info.

mirmac1 said...

A John Cummings, Sped teacher, will be on administrative leave, based on the latest Personnel Report.

dan dempsey said...

Marty McLaren has posted thoughts on academics and more HERE.

When Michael DeBell ran he had a blog.

Currently none of the four incumbents running has a blog. So what is up with that?

In 2007 all four candidates had websites.... it is now 2011 and blogs are really common ... so why no blogs from the incumbents ....

Director Martin-Morris has closed access to his old blog.... so is this the kind of commitment to transparency, accountability, and communication to be expected from school directors?

Few people would wish to have four more years --- that are like the last four years. The incumbents' websites speak to their accomplishments during the last four years. ... They seem to have missed any of the "BAD" stuff that happened.

dan dempsey said...


He has a blog in which comments can be made and one not need to wait for approval from the Blog author.

Great Job Mr. Weber. If elected I hope Mr. Weber will continue his blog.

dan dempsey said...

Speaking of the failure of incumbents running for reelection to setup blogs ... Sherry Carr could learn a lot from Kate Martin. Kate has covered a lot of issues in Black and White with her blogging.

Is good politics never committing to much of substance in writing? If so Ms. Carr is definitely a good politician.

Wayne said...

I contacted John Cummings via Facebook. He hopes to have a page up and running sometime today (Wednesday).

Anonymous said...

Here is something interesting that Steve Sundquist said at his latest meeting.


One of many W Seattle parents

Charlie Mas said...

Thanks for the tip!

Ed Doc said...

Terrence Menage, Ed.D will have a website up soon. Dr. Menage has extensive education, training and experience in school governance; he also has a sizable network of current and former educators that include a good number of individuals with advanced degrees and substantial experience in school administration and governance.

Anonymous said...

Jack Whelan looks like an interesting candidate:



Anonymous said...

Terrence, I mean Ed Doc, what is your platform.

Mr. Ed

Mark T. Weber said...

I do have a blog and responded to your questions. Thanks

Mark Weber


Anonymous said...


Something on your Web site locked up my browser, it crashed and I had to restart it. That's funny because it was fine yesterday.

That's the first time in months that any site has done that. Probably some technical glitch. Hope you can get it working better again.


Anonymous said...

Mark, I should have heen clearer that weber4seattleschools.com is the site that's broken, not your Blogspot blog, which works fine. As soon as the font page loads, my browser crashes. Maybe I just wan't meant to see whatever is there.


Dorothy Neville said...

Michelle Buetow is now officially filed and there will be a primary in district three. Wanna guess who also filed? Yup, him. Remember, he got 30% of the vote against Harium last time.

Supporter of the "Throw the bums out" campaign said...

According to the KC Elections website, we need one more candidate to enter the Maier and Sundquist contests and two candidates to oppose Martin-Morris; ensuring a primary election for each of the incumbents and hopefully leading to their most timely exit.

Perhaps the Noon update will bring more good news as filing closes tomorrow...and time is running out for us to initiate the beginning of the end.

Mark T. Weber said...

I tried to jazz up the opening to my website with a flash and I noticed that, 1. The music isn't working and 2. if you let the flash run to the end it goes into something funky but my computer didn't crash.

Shortly after you see the dog sticking his nose out, a "enter here" button appears and I testeed that link and it worked fine.

Mark T. Weber said...

I just tried the site on my wife's computer and it worked there but still no music. I don't know what to tell you. Maybe I should have stayed with plan and boring opening page I had before.

Anonymous said...

What dog? Sad to say, my old-ish PC didn't even get that far. No dog-related button, no joy.
Some sites that use whizbang stuff that "works mostly" also add a plain "Skip Intro" link below, for the sake of old doofuses like me.

Anonymous said...

Ain't never going to take a candidate seriously or read at their platform or vote for them if I gotta get annoyed with music on their homepage. No way, no how, nuh uh.

-just because flash makes it possible doesn't make it smart

KG said...


I hope one of the questions you would use to interview these candidates is wether they think to much Central admin. is more important than school employees.
Only a real 6% or less spent on central admin. Also, wether they will listen to employees and parents with instituional memory?

A Voter said...

I see lots of changes and lots of plans suggested by most of the challengers. When you talk to them, Melissa, I would like to know how they plan to a)get them into place and b)finance them.

There are proposals for year-round schooling, individual education planners (Kate), and new texts, new courses in arts, PE and vocational subjects (Marty) for example.

These would all be hugely expensive and I'm not sure how they hope to pay for them.

Anonymous said...

Candidate Jack Whelan - common-sense ideas about how to deliver a quality education to all our kids

His platform:

• I want to push for curricula and classroom practices that promote competency, confidence, and the ability to learn how to learn.

• I want to push back against tail-wagging-the-dog, high-stakes testing.

• I want to push for scarce resources to be allocated to classrooms rather than to administrative pet projects.

• I want to push back against top-down, centralized, agenda-driven micromanaging.

• I want to push back against the corporate-driven, privatizing, anti-union, education reform agenda.

It's like he read your collective minds...


Mark T. Weber said...

I added the "skip intro" link. Hope it works for you now. And to the anonymous who said, "

Ain't never going to take a candidate seriously or read at their platform or vote for them if I gotta get annoyed with music on their homepage. No way, no how, nuh uh.

-just because flash makes it possible doesn't make it smart"

I know as a candidate I'm suppose to pander to the voters and tell them what they want to hear. Well, sport, that ain't going to happen with me. Don't like my homepage. Fine, go somewhere else. You may not like what I have to say but you'll sure as heck not be left in the dark wondering.

ArchStanton said...

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I'll leave this here for anyone who missed it the first time around.

Replacements Wanted

/more in my profile - looks like I might have to create one for MLK/FAME-gate, too

Charlie Mas said...

As of today (Thursday, June 9) there are at least three candidates filed for each position, which means that there will be a primary for each race.

Yee-hah! Let's Rodeo.

dan dempsey said...

I think by the end of the day on Friday ... there may be a few more candidates in the races.

So I wonder how many incumbents can make it through the primary? I am going to be somewhat surprised if 4 for 4 make it through.

anonymous said...

Way to go Mr. Weber! Say right up front that you won't pander to the voters. It makes my decision much easier.

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark T. Weber said...

Would you rather I lie to you just so I can get your vote? There's a big difference between pandering and representing

Anonymous said...

In a previous version of his website, Mr. Weber wrote:

"The Three R’s. I believe we need to get back to basics. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Children are not capable of critical thinking skills in elementary, middle and many in high school as well. Their cognitive thinking skills have not developed to that point yet. That is what college is for."

As a teacher, I find this to be an unwise statement. I find my Theory of Knowledge students to be better critical thinkers than many adults I encounter.


anonymous said...

From Mr. Weber's blog - challenging Jack Whelan's position:

Mr. Whelan: I want to push for curricula and classroom practices that promote competency, confidence, and the ability to learn how to learn.

Mr. Weber's response: I have a problem with the "learn how to learn." Are K - 12 kids capable of critical thinking? Research says no so isn't more important that they just learn?

Mr. Whelan: I want to push back against the corporate-driven, privatizing, anti-union, education reform agenda.

Mr. Weber's response: Here I have to ask. What corporations? Who is anti-union? And what is their education reform agenda and how does it differ from your's?

Anonymous said...

He wrote "your's" instead of "yours"? And he wants to be on the School Board?


mirmac1 said...

Okay, Mr Weber, good thing I'm not in your district because I'm not stupid and I don't expect pandering but I know smack when I hear it.

Mark T. Weber said...

I have been reading this thread of the blog for the past two days and I am reminded of the time I went to a sports bar with my son to watch a Seahawks game. During the first half, the group in the bar made comments about how Hasselbeck should have thrown the ball or so-so should done gone left when he actually went right. As the second half continued and the Hawks fell further behind, the hooting and booing started. And as I sat there I was thinking to myself, sure, it’s easy to say when you’re sitting in a bar with a beer in your hand.

I have no disillusions about my chances of winning this election. I am a no-name candidate with no school governance experience. But at least I have the balls to enter my name into the race.

I’ll be willing to bet, you’ll be, for the most part, happy with the new candidates elected but in four years sitting back here saying the same things you are today about them.

Reds Under the Bed said...

Mark, you're just lucky that no one has said yet, "But who are you REALLY? Are you now or have you ever been...a reform advocate? Did you ever nod to Bill Gates in passing or do you own a Microsoft product because he, as we know, is out to destroy life as we know it?"

I'm not in your area so I won't be able to vote for you, and I don't know that I would even if I COULD. But as much good as this blog does, they also trip all over themselves to hammer anyone who might be just a little different. If you don't believe 100% of what they do, you're one of...them.

And you're 100% right-but it won't take four years-they'll be crapping all over the new board members the day after the elections if they don't hear what they think the new folks should be saying. And life will go on.

And really, you gotta wonder about someone who won't vote for a candidate because they don't like his website, but then, these are people who think that websites have the actual literal truth about a school rather than set foot into it or call to verify information.

anonymous said...

I like Mr. Weber's candor and honesty. I like that he is not afraid to speak up, speak out, and tell the truth.

Those are good qualities for a school board director to posses.

Sadly, though, he has no school school governance experience. He has no children in SPS, and was never involved in the PTA. He's never been a teacher. Actually, he has no connection to public education at all.

He does talk about the relevance of his business experience to the position of school board director, and his ability to get the job done. Only problem is, the education of children isn't a business and can't and shouldn't be run like one.

I won't be voting for Mr. Weber, but I do appreciate his willingness to run. I thank him for pursuing a public service, volunteer position, and for making the District 2 race more challenging!

Charlie Mas said...

A new candidate filed for the District III position, John Dunn.

Terrence Menage said...

I wish to announce that my website is now online at www.menage4seattlekids.com

As this is a grassroots campaign and I have entered the race to represent the good people in my district and our great city, I appreciate your support and I look forward to hearing from all concerned citizens.

The challenge to unseat current members of the Board of Directors will be significant, the vested interests that will work to maintain status quo in the district have deep pockets and will not go quietly into the night.


Terrence J. Menage, Ed.D.

Terrence Menage, Ed.D. said...

If the new addition to candidates for District 3 is the John Dunn that is a former SEA officer, this is good news. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Dunn throughout the years and found him to be a person with integrity and knowledge. He would be a welcome addition to the new Board of Directors to move the district forward.

Terrence Menage, Ed.D.

Terrence Menage, Ed.D. said...

For the good of the cause:

My website is up and running at www.menage4seattlekids.com

I have begun a blog on my website to provide additional information regarding our campaign as well as respond to concerns and issues brought to me by concerned citizens. Please visit my website and submit any questions, comments or concerns.

Thank you for your concern for our public schools.

Terrence Menage