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    High School Renamed in Honor of First Asian American Member of Seattle School Board
    Posted on 09/16/2020
    Al Sugiyama poses for a photo

    High School Renamed in Honor of First Asian American Member of Seattle School Board

    At the September 9, 2020 meeting, the School Board voted to recognize local lifelong education advocate Alan T. Sugiyama, with the renaming of South Lake High School to Alan T. Sugiyama High School at South Lake.

    Mr. Sugiyama spent his life advocating for racial justice and educational for all people. While a college student, he advocated for Asian Americans in local colleges and formed the first Asian American student unions at Seattle Central College and then at the University of Washington. In 1979, he founded the Center for Career Alternatives, which focused on providing education and job training.

    In 1989, Mr. Sugiyama became the first Asian American on the Seattle School Board, where he advocated for equity in Seattle Public Schools during his two terms.

    The renaming of the school is the culmination of four years of work, spearheaded by Dr. Laura Davis- Brown, Dr. Joe Powell, and the South Lake Community, and is a celebration of a new era for the school which is creating a culture of voice and choice for its students and providing an enduring example to students of how one person's actions and determination can break down barriers to racial and educational equity.

    Mr. Sugiyama believed that all persons need and deserve a second, and sometimes third opportunity and he promoted determination and compassion while standing up to institutional systems of racism.

    The school Believes, Inspires, and Empowers their students, and they Remix how their students navigate Education.

    Mr. Sugiyama passed away in 2017 at the age of 67, but his legacy lives on at Alan T. Sugiyama High School at South Lake.

    Read the full Board Action Report, including community testimony of Mr. Sugiyama's life.

    Watch and listen to this School Board meeting.