School Board Elects New Officers

School Board Elects New Officers
Posted on 12/16/2016
Director Sue Peters

Seattle School Board Elects New Officers

On December 7, the Seattle School Board elected new officers for the 2017 calendar year.

Board member Sue Peters was elected president, Leslie Harris was elected vice-president and Scott Pinkham was elected member-at-large.

The new board officers assume duties immediately and serve in their roles through the 2017 calendar year. They bring a wealth of experience to the executive committee as well as a commitment to authentically engaging our families, community, and staff.

The Board and district staff thank Director Betty Patu for her leadership as the 2016 Board President. Director Patu has dedicated her life to service and worked tirelessly in support of students and families of Seattle Public Schools.

Director Sue Peters: President

Director Peters is a longtime public education advocate and founder of Parents Across America, a national public education advocacy organization which aims to bring the voices of families into the local and national discussion of public policy and practices.

As board president, Peters will preside at all Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings and sign all documents required by law or authorized by the action of the Board. She will also serve as the Board spokesperson and will be responsible for appointing committee chairs. Board President Peters, who represents District 4, was elected to the Board in 2013. District 4 includes Seattle’s Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard Neighborhoods.

Responding to the Board’s vote of approval, Director Peters stated, "Thank you to my colleagues for your support, for your trust and confidence in my leadership. I hope to help lead the district responsibly. I’m honored to serve alongside such dedicated and conscientious colleagues on the Board.

"We have a challenging year ahead of us in terms of figuring out a budget for the following year that may lack the resources that we need. We have some difficult decisions to make. I am hoping that we can make decisions focused on fundamentals and that we never forget the diversity of our students and our students’ needs.”

Director Leslie Harris: Vice President

Director Harris was elected to the Board in November 2015 along with fellow Board officer Scott Pinkham. Director Harris represents District 6 which includes all of West Seattle. Director Harris has extensive experience in civil rights issues related to local, state, and national education law. Alternative education, program placement, and community engagement are of particular interest to the newly elected vice president.

“I was very humbled last year to be elected to the Executive Committee and I’m even more humbled now. To my colleagues, thank you for that. To the community, I am here to serve you and I am honored to do so. Thank you,” stated Director Harris during last week’s board meeting after approval of her nomination.

Harris will preside at Board meetings in Director Peters’ absence.

Director Scott Pinkham: Member-at-Large

Director Pinkham represents District 1, which includes the North Beach, Broadview, Northgate, Lake City and Wedgewood neighborhoods. Director Pinkham is the Director of the University of Washington’s Minority Scholars Engineering Program and an American Indian Studies lecturer.

Director Pinkham believes that all students are capable and should not be measured by test scores alone. Providing for programs that work for underserved and underrepresented communities is a priority issue and he is committed to bringing increased transparency to the work at the district.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work alongside Director Peters, Director Harris, our community, schools and the full Board, on behalf of students – because that is what we are here for. We need to make sure we serve the needs of all of our students. I will bring that voice to the Executive Committee and my role as Member-at-Large. We have some challenges ahead. We will need to make tough budget decisions, but we will get through them together.”

To learn more about the work of the Seattle School Board and the newly elected Board Officers, visit the School Board webpages.

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