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Sunday, December 01, 2019

People To Thank

Just so many people to thank for their support of this blog and my efforts to bring transparency and honesty to this district.

Back to the beginning.
It was Beth Bakeman who started this blog.  She started it during the time of school closures and wanted a place where parents from around the district could come to and discuss what was happening.  Parent Charlie Mas and I were both public education activists at the time and, as well, I was serving on the Closure and Consolidation Committee.  Thank you, Beth.
(There is no good way to figure out what schools to close and the Committee was directed by a pretty good consulting firm. But I can say that we were NOT given all the data we asked for nor needed to make those decisions. And, in the district's zeal to close a school in every region, we were near forced to pick schools that should never have been on the list, including Beth's I almost quit the committee and was talked down by our consultant contact.  I always wondered if that was mistake on my part. Then there was the irony that, just a scant few years later, we needed all those buildings reopened.)

Charlie Mas. What I can I say about one of the smartest guys around.  People often seemed to think that Charlie and I were sitting around, plotting and coordinating our efforts.  They also thought we were best friends.  Neither thing was true.  We were just two advocates who crossed paths at Board meetings.  When Beth asked us to take over the blog, I seriously had no idea what we was getting into.

To be clear, Charlie and I had different education interests, although we did both want Highly Capable to be a better program.  We never, not once, consulted each other on topics we could write about or run a draft column by each other.

I was sorry to see him go.  Thank you, Charlie.

Early on, I met Chris Jackins who is the conscience of this district and knows more district history than anyone else I can think of.  Quiet, never looking for the limelight, always speaking in a measured and respectful tone, he goes thru Board agendas with a fine-tooth comb.  You really should listen to him speak at Board meetings and then read thru the BARs on the topics he speaks about.  He finds things that others don't see.

Thank you, Chris.

It's a funny thing - it's hard to remember how I met all these people.  I mean, sure, it was probably at some district meeting but I couldn't really tell you when.  And, of course, many of them were public education advocates long before me and taught me a lot by example.

Edu-friends to thank (and if I leave out anyone, please let me know - my brain can be like a sieve):
  • Carol and Jim Simmons
  • Joanna Cullen
  • Kellie La Rue
  • Meg Diaz
  • Gail Herman
  • Linh-Co Nguyen and Rick Burke
  • Carolyn Leith
  • Kathy Smith and Joe Rockne
  • Cecilia McCormick
  • Demian Godon
  • Eric Muhs
  • Dave Westberg
  • Mary Griffin
  • Ivan Weiss
  • Leonie Haimson
  • Rosslyn Shea
  • Cassandra Johnston
  • Steve Nesich
  • Elizabeth
  • Jesse Hagopian
  • Amy Hagopian
  • Pat Griffith
  • Julie Van Arken
  • Johnny Calcagno
  • Trish Dziko
  • Dorothy Neville
  • Michael Rice 
  • Margit McGuire
  • Sheri Feld
  • Nancy Bocek
  • Zara Kublin
  • Sandi Strong
  • Marcie Maxwell
  • Sarah Sense-Wilson
  • Bob Murphy
  • Gordon Macdougall
  • Kristin King
  • Lauren Bricker
  • Lori Waight
  • Stephanie Hager
  • Stuart Jenner
  • Susan Watson
  • Brita Butler-Wall
  • Sally Soriano
  • Maureen Dahlstrom
Media friends
  • Ann Dornfeld of KUOW
  • Essex Porter of KIRO-tv
  • Gabriel Spitzer and Ashley Gross of KNKX, Kyle Stokes (former of KNKX)
  • C.R. Douglas of FOX 13
  • Sol Villareal 
  • Several people who have been education reporters at the Seattle Times; Rebekah Denn, Brian Rosenthal, John Higgins, Jessica Singleton
  • Tracy Record of the West Seattle blog
  • Nina Shapiro (formerly at Seattle Weekly)
  • Brian Callahan of Seattle Channel and his producer, Susan Han
Lastly, my late husband, Gaetano - without his love, encouragement and support this work would not have been possible.  (He did wonder out loud how I could stand watching Board meetings on tv - "They're so dull." I told him, "If you know all the players, it's a lot more interesting.")

Thank you all for your friendship, your help and your support!