We Have a New Seattle School Board
I attended the Oath of Office ceremony this afternoon for our two new and one returning Board members. It had all the usual trappings; family, supporters and a fair number of staff. There were speeches (mercifully brief) but, from talking to others, there is one person who stood out to many of us.
I think I'll write this thread as straight as I can and you can be the judge of what stands out. (I saw some readers so they can let you know if I get it mostly right.)
Vice-President Peaslee (now the top person in leadership given President Smith-Blum is gone) welcomed everyone. She almost got ahead of herself by having Sue Peters come up but remembered that Superintendent Banda was to say a few words. He mentioned that he himself had served on a Board and is often asked how it is to work with a 7-person Board. He said that he sometimes wonders if it's a trick question. He said it was very much like being in a large family.
Then Sue Peters came up with her father (her parents had come in from Los Angeles). There was one funny moment when her father, in reciting the oath to her (and then she would recited that portion back), said, "...King County, California." Sue smiled and said, "King County, Washington." At the end, they hugged.
Next was Stephan Blanford who was given the oath by his wife, Janet. This oath was pretty straightforward.
Then each newly-installed director said some remarks with Sue Peters going first.
Peters thanked the voters for their trust. She thanked her family for their support. She congratulated Patu and Blanford on their victories. She said she looked forward to working collaboratively with the rest of the Board. She singled out Director Patu for her (already) four years of service and her second term.
|The new School Board|
He stated that his "historic" margin of victory was a validation of his views by voters.
He called out his daughter's school, Beacon Hill, as a model of "equity and excellence." He said that all the children of the school were served - Special Ed, ELL and Advanced Learning -without parents being pitted against each other. He said it was a great school.
He said he hoped to work "humbly" with staff and, because of his victory, would champion his views to the rest of the Board. He also said he wanted to work collaboratively.
He thanked his daughter and his wife for their support.
Director Patu went last. She first thanked God for her success. She also thanked her husband, Von Paul Patu, who had always been her biggest supporter as well as her children and grandchildren. She said she had wanted to change the status quo for her region and was proud that there were very few SE region schools at Level 1 or 2. She said it was worth the hard work to see these outcomes. She finished with a Ghandi quote.
I'll finish with what I always say about being on a school board.
1) it's a team sport, not a spotlight
2) compromise and consensus are the order of the day to get things done.