Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Video Messages from Seattle School Board Candidates 2017

From Seattle Channel's Video Voter's Guide:

District IV

Eden Mack 

Herbert J. Camet, Jr.

Jennifer Crow

Megan Locatelli Hyska

Sean Champagne

District V

Zachary DeWolf

Andre Helmstetter

Alec Cooper 

District VII

Chelsea Byers

Betty Patu

I have not yet listened to all of these; let us know your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Andre Helmstetter comes across as being genuine, informed and ready to suit up and show up to serve on the Seattle School Board. He has my vote, and I am grateful that folks like him step up to serve in this capacity. Please consider supporting him in the primary.

Check out his fb page: https://www.facebook.com/andre4seattleschools/

And his website: http://www.andre4seattleschools.org/

He has impressive endorsements, three kids (two of whom are in SPS), and a background policy and process improvement. Meet and greet at Powell Barnett this Sunday, July 23, from 4-6pm. Come on out and share your thoughts and hopes for our schools!

-Voter Mom

Anonymous said...

Is Andre Helmstetter a proponent of single gender education? He has a daughter enrolled at Seattle Girls School. Can he unequivocally advocate for all students when he is the parent of one who attends a private school devoid of gender diversity? Support for education practices based on separate gender schooling are out of step with the times and the experiences of our public schools. Is a vote for Andre Helmstetter a vote against gender equality?

For progress

Anonymous said...

Wow, For Progress, you sure jump to shortsighted and trippy conclusions.

I don't know Helmstetter, but I am a parent, and I know that the choices that you make as a parent regarding everything from the food you put on the table, how you spend you free time with your family and where you choose to send your child to school are all dependent on unique personality characteristics, needs and mindfully made choices.

Alex Cooper has had all three of his kids go to a private, Catholic school until middle school. Is he a proponent of religious schooling? Can he unequivocally advocate for all students? Can he really support public schools, not choosing them for ANY of his children for the early years?

Zachary DeWolf doesn't have children, where does that leave him?! How could he possibly know how to advocate for a child the way a parent does?! How could he put himself in the shoes of a full-time caregiver of a young person? Can HE advocate for our students?

Omar Vasquez sits on the board of Summit Charter School, so we know where he stands: when you are that endeared to charters you are an advocate for privatizing public programs, enabling corporate reach to deepen into schools (look at his PDC--he's got mass cash from reformers), and TfA's 5-week training is good enough to take on the job of professional educator in our public school system. No, no and no.

So I'm not sure about Helmstetter's thought process about his child going to school where she does, but that student is bookended by kids who are going to Garfield and Bailey Gatzert--kindergarten to high school, he obviously believes in our public schools.

I see he has meet and greets set up this week--three of the. Why don't you attend one and ask him yourself how he feels about gender equality. Ask him about his family, his experience growing up and his views on LGBTQ. You will, hopefully end up supporting him!

--Helmstetter for School Board

Melissa Westbrook said...

For progress, I said this elsewhere but I often meet people who confess - saying they are embarrassed to be telling me - that they have one kid in public and one in private. I always say, "you have to do the best thing for your kid." Some kids need different things and no, public schools, including charters, can't always provide it. But someone who has one in public and one in private probably does have a good reason. Myself, I accept that and don't hold it against someone.

But you are entitled to your opinion.

Anonymous said...

@Helmstetter for School Board

I have in the recent past called attention to Alec Cooper's previous and current enrollment of his children at a private religious school. I agree with the questions you raise about how such enrollment affects his candidacy.

@Melissa Westberg

Certainly one can have incidental personal conversations about enrollment of children in public, private or both, but such conversations are simply that- incidental. When one chooses to run for school board, however, then the enrollment choices one has made become a critical part of a public conversation, in the same way that the boards people have served on and their organizational affiliations are relevant and open to scrutiny.

Also, could you clarify if you are now allowing more than two word monikers?


For progress

Voting Helmstettler said...

I have no qualms about Helmstetter's commitment to all children.

Anonymous said...

@ For Progress
You have it exactly backward. Single-gender education, especially during middle school, is considered empowering for girls. In the later years of elementary school, girls in co-ed classes start to dumb down or lose confidence in their abilities, especially in math and science subjects. Boys can often dominate a co-ed classroom or are called on by teachers more frequently than girls. Boy-girl social dynamics can also create a distraction from studies.

I agree with Melissa that a parent's decision for their child's education is their own business.

Nonsense Tracker

Anonymous said...

It's a myth that single gender education is empowering for girls and the stereotyping of boys' behavior is beyond sexist and offensive. Anyone buying into this myth and then looking to run for the office of school board director where one will be in a position of oversight of a system based on total integregation of gender, needs to be questioned about their choices and educational values.

Everything matters when you add your name to a ballot. Whether it's the schools chosen for children or the boards served on, they all add insight into a candidate's values and deserve debate and scrutiny.

For progress

Anonymous said...

Having attended co-ed middle school for the gifted and an all girls high school for the gifted, I can tell you that going to an all girls school made a world of difference. I was working with other smart girls and there were no distractions with boys dominating the classroom. It was a great experience. Not all girls need it but many can benefit from it. I went into a STEM career after that and the high school made me well prepared for college even though the college I attended was 5-1 men-women ratio.


Melissa Westbrook said...

For progress, it's Westbrook. And yes, still only two-word names.

If you think every single person who runs for office is going to line up to your exacting standards, you'll eliminate a lot of good people but again, that's your opinion. You seem to be alluding to Vasquez being on a charter board versus someone having a child in private school. I don't see the connection really.

It's a myth that single gender education is empowering for girls..."

And your data is? Because I think tere is data to support girls being in gender-specific schools or even just gender-specific math classes. As well, the data is out there about boys dominating class discussions which isn't bad behavior, it's just behavior.

Anonymous said...

If those running for school board recognize some of the shortcomings of Seattle's public schools, having experienced something different or better with the private schools, perhaps they will be positioned to advocate for better policies. I see it as a potential asset.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, thank you for providing the video links. The link for Patu, however, is linking me to Byers.

Capacity. Capacity. Capacity. If candidates do not have capacity and enrollment on their list of top issues, we are in for some rough times. Eden Mack's experience on the Capacity Management Task Force, on top of her understanding of funding issues, makes her a strong candidate.

Frankly, some of the lesser known candidates in District IV scare me. "Comrades..." Wow, he lost me at his first word.


Cap hill said...

Hi this is Alec. Just to correct the misinformation on this board - I have two kids at Garfield (who also attended Washington) and one kid at St Joe's (who started in Seattle at Stevens). My older kids have attended public schools their entire lives, other than when we lived in China for 5 years (I'm sure you can give me a break on that :). We're all entitled to our opinions, but ruling a candidate out because they have one kid in private and two kids in public seems like a filter that may give you worse choices - for example, the other two candidates have no kids in public schools at all. Also, I prefer to keep some privacy regarding why I might move my kid to another school. I hope you can understand why. --Alec

Meet Andre! said...

Great opportunity to meet Andre Helmstetter:

"You are invited to meet school board candidate for Seattle District 5 (Capitol Hill, Central District, Downtown, Leshi, Madrona), Andre Helmstetter.

He is running to fill the vacated seat of Stephan Blanford, and will be on your August 1st primary ballot, if you live in district 5, and on your November 7 ballot if you live in the Seattle School District.

Andre has three kids, all school aged and has been involved with the PTSA and other volunteer activities in schools and with other youth programs in Seattle.

Please come over for a gathering to meet the candidate at 1115 19th Ave East on Wednesday July 19th, 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Of course we will accept donations to Get Out the Vote! But come even if you just want to meet him.'

Anonymous said...

Candidates for the school board have an absolute right to send their kids to whatever school they feel best meets their needs. Same goes for School District staff. I am a SSD employee and sent my child to private schools from 3rd through 12th grade. There are many school staff who do likewise. When the topic comes up and people ask me why I didn't continue to send my child to a Seattle public school, I say, "Why do you ask?" but I'm thinking, "It's really none of your business."

Sped Staffer