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Seattle Community Members Speak Out On Schools

Iris Okimoto-Nielson.
Iris Okimoto-Nielson
"It's not just the parents' child, it's the community's child. And this child's going to grow up and be everyone's future. This is a child who may be the policeman who saves your life later on or your child's life or a neighbor's life. This is the one who might be controlling the airplane that you're riding. You would like them to be educated."

Ted Howard.
Ted Howard
Principal, Cleveland High School

"We learned how to deal with the private sector to the best advantage for our school. So in working with the private sector, we now understand that when we meet with them, we don't use a lot of school district jargon; we use just straight language, and they understand us a lot better. Students seem to be the best carrot, in terms of working with the private sector."

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Patsy Swartz Teacher, Bailey Gatzert Elementary School
"My experience with partnership is when I went to New York, [as part of a staff development field trip]. And for the first time, I really got out of the classroom. And my experience about partnership started at the airport, before we even left town. What I saw there was people from the union, from the school board, people from the superintendent's office, people from the Seattle Alliance who raised money for the school district, people from the mayor's office, people who helped with the levee. So I looked around, and I said, oh, it takes more than just me, the teacher, to educate a child."

Ellen Gass
Teacher, Stevens Elementary School

"Eight years ago, I had 40 kids -- second and third graders in my classroom. But it took one month to get an instructional assistant and to hire another teacher...Now, with the partnership and with more site-based management, I could go to the principal and say, "This is too difficult, and this is not right, because the kids are not getting enough attention." And immediately, the next day, there would be an instructional assistant in the classroom."

Sally Chong
President, Seattle Council PTSA
"It's in the business's best interest to make sure that kids come out of this system that are well educated and ready to contribute to society. That doesn't mean [kids] ready to work in a corporation or ready to go out and just do some good marketing deal. It means ready to assume their role as a responsible citizen."

Michael Browne
Chief Sealth High School graduate
"I didn't always come to school on time. I wasn't here all the time, you know, until I started having aviation first period, which started at 7:45 AM in the morning. And we used to do projects in class that interested me a lot to where I needed the whole class period to get it done. The objective was to build an airplane. I mean you can't do that in thirty minutes coming late to school...But after about a week or two of this class, I really got interested in it, and I just got up in the morning. I was motivated to get up in the morning. I liked coming to school..."

Barbara Peterson.
Barbara Peterson
Parent and President, Nathan Hale High School PTSA

"John Stanford has been someone who's created a spirit in Seattle of positive feelings towards schools, and I think he will have a legacy that goes beyond his presence."


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