Kenny Alhadeff Honored with SPS Citizen Service Award
The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors and Superintendent Larry Nyland presented the District’s Citizen Service Award to Kenny Alhadeff at the January 18, 2017 board meeting.
Alhadeff has been a dedicated lifelong supporter of Seattle Public Schools. He is a graduate of Brighton Elementary (now Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary), Sharples Middle School (now Aki Kurose Middle School), and Franklin High School. He is a founding contributor to the Franklin Alumni Association and a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
For the past 50 years, he has contributed his time and funds to support district needs and initiatives. He has been actively involved in many school levy and bond election campaigns for four decades. He served as the district’s 2007 School Closures Task Force co-chair, the Meany Middle School PTSA president, and frequently as a MLK Jr. Elementary assembly keynote speaker.
He is a passionate advocate of early learning and public education. He has funded a number of district work projects, such as the painting of the Stevens Elementary exterior, the new signage for the Brighton Elementary building after it was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. In November 2016, he supported the State of the District reception, held at Franklin High School.
Superintendent Larry Nyland congratulated Alhadeff, saying “thank you for your enthusiastic support for schools, teachers, and our students. You remind us how essential educators are in motivating and inspiring our future leaders.”
Alhadeff is a graduate of Washington State University and a member of its Board of Regents for 13 years, serving twice as its chair. He helped establish the Washington State University Department of Education program. He was the founding chairperson of the Alliance for Education and its “A+ Awards for Teachers.” For 25 years, he has been the board president of the Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children.
He and his wife Marleen founded the Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, which serves a variety of important causes in our community including public education.
“Kenny Alhadeff’s contributions to Seattle Public Schools and the arts have been generous: his passion for both are impressive,” says School Board President Sue Peters.
Alhadeff received a standing ovation by the board and audience after delivering an inspirational speech about the importance of education at the January 18 meeting. He shared his experience of three teachers that believed in him and motivated him. He encouraged the district to “Keep believing in teachers because teachers believe in students! Education, teaching, and learning is indeed a big deal.”
Watch Kenny Alhadeff's speech at the board meeting on January 18