There are Two School Board Candidates

Update: make that three.  Leslie Harris, SPS parent and paralegal, is running in District VI which is Marty McLaren's seat.

Also to note, the actual filing date is not until May but these people are indicating, by registering at the PDC, that they are setting up campaigns.

End of update.

One person running is incumbent Sharon Peaslee from District I.

The other is semi-retired lawyer Jill Geary running in District III which is Harium Martin-Morris' district.   She's friends with former mayor, Mike McGinn, and has worked on Sped issues.  She has a child at Laurelhurst and has been active on their PTA Board.  She also has a child at Ingraham and one at Hamilton.  (She also has one child in private school and one in college.) 

District III is also my district. 

No contributions to either campaign as of yet. 


Greenwoody said…
Wow, Sharon Peaslee thinks she will actually get re-elected?

Unless her campaign starts out with profuse and sincere apologies, for her horrible comments last summer on the Garfield rape case and then for imposing the ed reformer Nyland as superintendent in way that limited public input, she is going to go down in flames. Sharon Peaslee is not electable, not as of today. You can take that to the bank.
Anonymous said…
I met Jill Geary at a SpEd advocacy conference and was very impressed. A smart lady!

Two of her children are twice-exceptional, and that is definitely a community that needs a voice in the system.

No Thanks said…
Peaslee ran on a platform to transform top down governance.

She tried to ram through Nyland's hiring over a holiday weekend, which would have allowed two days for the community to weigh-in. Public pressure prevented this fast-track hiring, and Peaslee et. al allowed for a very short comment period of approximately one week.

Nathan Hale teachers brought concerns to Peaslee's hire (Nyland) and he in turn turned on teacher concerns and threatened teachers with loss of teaching certification.

We had a philosophical majority on the board, which no longer exists. Sherry Carr is board president and the district will be looking at becoming a charter school authorizer.

Wondering said…
I wouldn't be surprised if Peaslee were supported by the Alliance for Education.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
She filed to run; anyone can look it up.
Anonymous said…
I don't think anyone can file yet :)

I've heard Sharon tell people she wasn't running ... does anyone have a URL to a statement or document ???

PDC Reports said…
Both Sharon Peaslee and Jill Geary have filed with the PDC. Candidates can not file with King County Elections until May 11th or 15th.
Anonymous said…
dear PDC Reports ... do you ANY experience guiding people through web pages?

I went to the PDC website and cliqued on a button "Candidates" and then "Local" and came up with zip. Your "information" is pretty worthless when people can't find it & while it is a pain in the neck to give precise directions, it will save scores of us all kinds of time trying to figure out what you're talking about ... if we bother.

PDC Reports said…
Links to the PDC:

If people are filing for CIty Council, than yes, they can file for School Board. See the PDC site for info. They are not filed officially until May but filing online announces they are coming.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the link - I found Sharon's name on about the 10th page (I sorted the names by clicking on the top of that field ), I clicked on a link "detail" and then I clicked on a button "C1 Report". While it does list this year's election, it is also dated from Jan. 2012.

Ummmmm ... I don't know that this constitutes 'running' ...

Anonymous said…
Jill. Laurelhurst. Isn't that the geographic hub for the 'Voices of NorthEast Seattle Schools' group? Members of that advocated against voting for BEX? Is she in with them, or just coincidence?

Wondering, I don't know but I'd call it a coincidence.
chunga said…
Can someone point to a summary of what went down with the Garfield rape case and how Sharon handled it poorly? (sorry, I didn't follow this closely)

I, too, was disappointed in how she rushed Nyland's offer through. That showed poor judgement. I can see how reasonable people could disagree about whether the district should've opened up the sup position or not, but either way, the motion to offer him the job should not have been rushed through with essentially no opportunity for public input.

All that said, I don't think she's a corp reformer so it'll depend on who runs against her on whether I'll vote for her. I'll certainly be less inclined to help her campaign again though.
cmj said…
I'm not impressed by Peaslee. She's very much a top-down manager who ignores public input. For example, she ram-rodded Nyland's appointment in over a national holiday in hopes that no one would notice. Two of her fellow Directors (Peters, Patu) clearly did not support his rushed appointment. So far, Nyland has failed to impress me. He's acted like a bully towards teachers over purely political issues (SBAC, Garfield teacher cut rally) but has, IMHO, largely failed to discipline staff for failures that actually affect students' educations. When there's been a major issue that would require him or SPS admin to take responsibility, he's shrugged ineffectually or blamed others (pre-K agreement premature signing, SPED FERPA leak).

Peaslee also didn't have a community meeting for about 8 months in 2014. Directors typically hold them once a month. Maybe she had a very good reason for not having the meetings. However, I'm of the opinion that if you have the time to be Board President, you have the time to listen to your constituents.
Greenwoody said…
Here's a good overview of Peaslee's career-ending statements last summer on the Garfield rape case:
SCPTSA said…
Peaslee's PDC is set-up for a Nov. 2015 election.

SCPTSA weighed-in on Peaslee's approach to hiring Nyland:

Dear Seattle School Board Directors,

As strong advocates for family engagement, we are concerned about the timing and rushed nature to appoint Dr. Nyland permanently through 2017.
Our council board feels that a search for a Superintendent could provide other qualified candidates, however we also believe that providing consistent leadership and stability for staff and families also has value for our district at this time. When asked to provide support for a contract extension for Dr. Nyland as interim Superintendent, we agreed. Dr. Nyland's commitment to stewardship and accountability of SPS resources, closing the opportunity gap, providing better customer service, and responding to parent concerns is encouraging. However, when appointing a permanent Superintendent these criteria and commitments should be fully assessed through a formal process.
SCPTSA did not realize the School Board would be voting on this action so quickly without providing time for families to engage. The specifics of the contract extension, specifically to make this a permanent appointment, and the process for hiring the Superintendent, were unknown even to us. Families have been led to believe that there would be a full and transparent search process for the appointment of a new Superintendent. Five days' notice over a holiday weekend is simply not enough time.
Linh-Co said…
Leslie Harris just announced her candidacy for the West Seattle School Board position. Looks like Marty will have a tough race. Here's her statement.

I made the decision to and filed for Seattle School Board Director Position No. 6. That's West Seattle and South Park in the primary in August and citywide in November. My reasons are that we can do so much better for our kids and families and communities.
We need to put more dollars in the classrooms. We need to address the cycles of high stakes testing. We need to address the current and looming capacity crisis. We need to address the decades of maintenance backlogs. We need more transparency and more follow-up to unanswered questions. We need to replicate what is working and move away from failures. We need accountability and leadership. I have attended board and committee meetings at the central office for over 10 years, worked on other Directors' campaigns and do understand the commitment for what is essentially a volunteer position.
With 30 years active in the Democratic Party, as a District Chair and several years service on the State Democratic Central Committee, State President of my professional association and two terms on its national board, and 13 years of PTSA, several years on a school building leadership team, recent lengthy service on a local contemporary dance company board, over 20 years on community college advisory boards -- I understand board policy making functions and fiduciary duty. I know how to read budgets and ask questions and drill down to the critical facts.
My career as a litigation paralegal, 30 years, has allowed me extraordinary opportunity to research facts, law and to reverse engineer corporations and systems in products liability, medical negligence and maritime personal injury as an integral part of a team that has successfully sought justice for countless victims and to reinforce worker safety laws.
I ask for your ideas, feedback, support both in meeting with your communities and in funds to run and win this campaign.
My email is - my cell is 206.579.2842 - the campaign website will be
I am a native West Seattilite, the youngest of 6 kids (maiden name Hail), married 28 years to a terrific partner Michael, and the very proud mom of Monica, soon to be a Chief Sealth High School graduate and a Husky undergraduate.
Thank you. I very humbly ask for your support.
Anonymous said…
Leslie Harris is the candidate we have been waiting for. Having worked with Leslie on a day-to-day basis in Seattle, King County, and statewide Democratic Party politics for 13 years now, I can tell you that education has been her primary focus throughout.

Pathfinder and Chief Sealth students, faculty, administrators, and PTSA members know Leslie well, as do many other education activists throughout the city. They know she does her homework, asks the tough questions, and most important of all, takes no bullshit. She goes to every Board meeting, every director's coffee hour she can get to, and all the committee meetings she can fit in. She will have a very, very short learning curve, if any. She is the best prepared challenger for a Seattle School Board position in my memory.

The suits had better get ready to be cross-examined, because Leslie is a force. As for Marty, she should just decline to file, go away quietly, thanks for your service and best wishes. Because she couldn't beat Leslie in an election with Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes behind her.

Buckle up your seat belts, Seattle. Because it's on!

-- Ivan Weiss
Anonymous said…
Well now. Things appear to be getting interesting ;o)

Watching In The Bleachers said…
Imagine what could be accomplished if English is truly gone and Melissa joined Leslie (with Sue and Betty)?! ... one might think that there is an honest glimmer of hope.

Congratulations to Leslie on running! I've met and watched her many times over the years from Board Meetings to Board Director Coffee Chats. She is an amazing force and her knowledge and experience will be a huge asset in advocating and ensuring accountability and responsibility in this district and for our students. Watch out "Old Guard" times might be a changing!
Puhlease said…
Somebody pleaaaassssseeee run against Peasssslllllleeee!
Puhlease, I concur.

If you want to find out more about running, I am happy to sit down and talk about what campaigning looks like and being a director. There are people willing to help on all fronts. Please, someone in Peaslee's district, consider running.

(The irony is that Peaslee's flip-flop since she was elected may not help her. I suspect that the ed reformers will haul out someone to run against her.)
Charter Update said…

Charter School update:

WA Charters @WA_Charters

Public Info Session about @SummitPS in West Seattle on 4/14 @ 6:45-7:45pm | Seattle Public Library SW Branch | 9010 35th Ave. SW, 98126

Anonymous said…
What are the parameters of Peaslee's district?

Agree that she's not an electable candidate after some clumsy moves wrt the Garfield rape case and the appointment of Nyland. But we need to make sure there's someone who's not an ed reformer running for her seat!

Anonymous said…
Also: do you have to live within a district to run for that board position? (eg, do we need someone who lives within Peaslee's district to run?)


Yes, you have to live within the district you represent.

Here's Peaslee's map:
Anonymous said…
Thanks, Melissa. That's me out, then. :)

I wonder who there is...

Anonymous said…
Great that Jill Geary is running - but really hard to run against HMM. No matter how incompetent he is, he just keeps winning.

mirmac1 said…

I know a parent with a student at Garfield. Isn't that the hotbed of the Opt-out movement and the Black Lives Matter movement? She must be an insurgent....
Anonymous said…

Jill Geary endorsed Suzanne Dale Estey, who ran against Sue Peters. Just fyi. We need an ally for Sue and Betty on the dais, not a sleeper from the corporate side. Keep your eyes open as we travel the road.


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