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Mayor Kicks off Education Summit Community Conversations

This spring, Mayor Ed Murray is bringing together families, teachers, school leaders, school district leadership, and our community partners to develop a shared vision for ensuring equity and excellence for each Seattle student. The Mayor’s Education Summit will be held on April 30 at Garfield High School.

Before the summit, a series of community conversations will take place across the city. These conversations will provide opportunity for teachers, families, students and community members to have a rich dialogue about what solutions they see for addressing the opportunity gap facing our students and our schools. Ultimately, these discussions will guide the focus of the Education Summit.

“It is crucial to hear from our schools, families and community about what is working for our students, where the gaps exist, and how we can best partner to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed in school, and graduate college or career ready,” said Murray.

Community conversations will be hosted by a range of community partners: the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, United Black Christian Clergy, First Place School, South East Seattle Education Coalition, OneAmerica, Neighborhood House, the Urban League, Seattle Education Association, Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators, Mockingbird, Treehouse, Red Eagle Soaring and United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, the Alliance for Education and other groups. Additionally, Seattle Public Schools will be hosting five community conversations at school campuses.

The first conversations will be on:

  • March 8th, 12 noon, Starbucks Headquarters, hosted by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce
  • March 15th, 4:30 p.m., Mt. Zion Baptist Church, hosted by Seattle Alliance of Black Educators
  • March 16th, 6 p.m., El Centro de la Raza, hosted by El Centro de la Raza
  • March 17th, 12 noon, Rainier Ave. Church, hosted by Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

Other dates, times and locations for community conversations will be available at

Each community conversation will begin with a message from the Mayor, include a presentation about our schools and the opportunity gap, and give participants a chance to offer ideas and solutions about how to bring equity and excellence to each and every student in Seattle schools.

The Mayor has also convened an Education Summit Advisory Group to listen to the community’s vision for our schools and to develop recommendations about how the City can best support our schools and develop partnerships around closing the opportunity gap.

The Advisory Group is comprised of Seattle educators, business and philanthropic leaders, and others:

  • Seattle Superintendent Larry Nyland
  • Seattle School Board President Betty Patu
  • City Council President Bruce Harrell
  • Cassandra Johnston, Seattle Council PTSA
  • Chris Carter, Principal, Mercer Middle School
  • David Beard, School’s Out Washington
  • Ed Taylor, Vice Provost, University of Washington
  • Erin Kahn, Raikes Foundation
  • Erin Okuno, Southeast Seattle Education Coalition
  • Estela Ortega, El Centro de la Raza
  • Fern Renville and Native Youth from Red Eagle Soaring
  • Howard Frumkin, University of Washington School of Public Health
  • James Smith, The Breakfast Group
  • Janis Avery, Treehouse
  • Jennifer Mims, Parent
  • Kaaren Andrews, Principal, Interagency Academy
  • Kent Koth, Seattle University Center for Community Engagement
  • Maud Daudon, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Omar Vasquez, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Pamela Banks, Urban League
  • Phyllis Campano, Seattle Education Association
  • Roxana Nourozi, OneAmerica
  • Saadia Hamid, Seattle Housing Authority
  • Yolanda Watson Spiva, College Success Foundation
  • Dwane Chappelle, Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning

“As educators we see the importance of addressing the issue of equity every day in our classrooms,” said Phyllis Campano, Vice President, Seattle Education Association. “We brought equity to the forefront of our bargain in 2015 to address the disparities of our system. We appreciate the input and support from the community around this issue. We look forward to more community conversations to discuss what is working and how to continue to move forward.”

“The Seattle Metro Chamber believes that when kids get a high-quality education, we all benefit,” said Maud Daudon, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Kids who grow up here can get on pathways to middle- and high-income jobs, employers can hire more local talent, and our economy grows in a more inclusive way. The Chamber looks forward to bringing the business community’s problem-solving approach to Mayor Murray’s Education Summit.”

The four co-chairs of the Education Summit are:

  • Ron Sims, former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
  • Brad Tilden, President and CEO, Alaska Airlines
  • Sheila Edwards Lange, interim President of Seattle Central College
  • Kristin Bailey-Fogarty, a teacher at Eckstein Middle School.