2015 - Fall

Lots of successes in 61 years at the Boys & Girls Club

The teachers’ strike gave Ms. Patrick Carter, long-time executive director of the Rotary Branch Boys & Girls Club, just one more handful of challenges. How would she find enough staff hours to meet a sudden demand for children’s programming during 11-hour days at the 19th-and-Spruce facility in Squire Park?

She asked her staffers. “They sacrificed their schedules and their personal lives to give service to the families - free of charge to registered members,” Patrick said. A stream of happy voices spills from the gym. “Sometimes I would like to record that sound,” she said. “But sometimes you have to shut the door.” Which she did.

The 19th Avenue Boys & Girls Club began operations in 1954. Like all branches of B&GC, it emphasizes academics, character/attitude, and healthy choices. The program works. Graduates make it through college and even to Wall Street. “And I think we’re going to have our first doctor soon,” Patrick said.

Donations are the best way community members can help — $50 will pay a child’s membership for a year. Volunteers are needed too, especially math tutors.

Patrick started out in banking. “I used to encourage people to invest in stocks and bonds. Now I ask them to invest in kids.”

To reach Patrick, email pcarter@positiveplace.org.


Thank You to our 2015 BBQ Donors!

Special thanks to all of the businesses, institutions, and individuals that contributed to making our barbecue, this past July, a great success. We value you as members of our community. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish our mission without your support. 


Who are the Candidates for our Schools?

Seattle is the largest school district in the state, serving over 53,000 students and their families and communities. The School Board, sets policy, makes vital decisions about the operation of Seattle Public Schools and oversees many aspects of district.  These policies and decisions not only impact the students and their families, but also profoundly impact the communities in which the students live. During the primary election school board candidate races are by district only and the top two from each district then run city-wide.  Four of the seven Seattle School Board positions will be elected citywide this November.  Come and learn more about the candidate's positions and their strengths and weaknesses.

Seattle School Board

District 1:

Michael Christophersen
(206) 556-4380

Michael Christophersen is the father of three students in the Seattle School District and is an Electronics Engineer working in Computer Software in business systems automation.

In order to provide an equitable, meaningful and sound education for all students, Michael proposes to:

  • Implement scientific approaches to educate students with learning disabilities.
  • Enact $20,000 as the amount that District employees can spend without Board approval, currently $249,000.
  • Enact a policy requiring the district's legal department to obtain board approval first before the district invokes attorney client privilege as a shield to the Freedom of Information Act
  • Redirect unnecessary administrative expenditures to our classrooms.

Scott S. Pinkham
(206) 854-2022

Scott Pinkham is a husband and father of two Seattle Public School students. Scott graduated from a public school in central Washington.  After earning his BS degree at the UW, he tutored mathematics, implemented a peer-tutoring program for a community college, managed pre-college engineering programs, and served as a university admissions and recruitment counselor prior to his current positions as director of the UW Minority Scholars Engineering Program and American Indian Studies lecturer. He believes that education is about bringing out the best in the individual.  He wants to bring his 25 years of experience to work on the Seattle School Board. 

District 2:

Rick Burke

Rick Burke is a lifetime Seattle resident and former Seattle Public Schools student.  He manages an engineering and manufacturing small business located in Interbay, which he joined 26 years ago.  As the parent of three SPS students and husband of a teacher, Rick understands the challenges facing our district.  He’s running for school board to change district culture from within, focusing on student learning, limiting excessive testing, and opening channels for family and community involvement.  Rick co-founded the Seattle Math Coalition and will keep a relentless focus on the classrooms, advocating for high quality instructional materials and teacher support. 

Laura Obara Gramer
(206) 452-2089

Laura Obara Gramer has a stake in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) because her children are entering the school system. Laura cares about school issues and regularly attends board meetings. She has a background in occupational therapy since 1996. Laura has sat on various boards and commissions such as the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities.

Endorsements include: 34th and 36th Districts Democrats, Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council Member, Lisa Stuebing, former chair of 43rd Democrats, Irene Steward former Seattle School Board Director, Marja Brandon, former founding Head of School of Seattle Girls' School, Karen Braitmayer, architect and accessibility consultant, and many parents/ community members.

District 3:

Lauren McGuire
(206) 418-6702

Lauren McGuire is running for Seattle School Board District 3 because she believes that every single child deserves a quality education.  As a long time PTSA leader and past President of the Seattle Council PTSA, she wants to bring her years of experience collaborating with teachers, parents, and students to identify and fix problems at their schools to the Seattle School Board. She states that fixing problems in the Seattle School District will not be an easy job and that she will not rest until every child’s potential is a reality.

Jill Geary

(206) 661-3774

Jill Geary is a mother of 5, wife, attorney, former Judge, and children’s advocate. She is a partner at Wolf Bay Law, LLC, in Seattle.   Jill served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings for 7 years.  During her tenure, Jill was the Lead Administrative Law Judge for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, managing all OSPI’s hearings, including special education due process hearings. Jill has represented families in special education and family law cases, and is currently focusing her practice on statewide advocacy in special education.

District 6:

Leslie Harris
(206) 579-2842

Leslie Harris, a West Seattle native, lives in the Delridge neighborhood with her husband of 29 years. Her daughter just entered U.W.  She served 13 years on PTSA and several years on the BLT (Building Leadership Team) at Pathfinder Alternative K-8.  Leslie is an experienced litigation paralegal for workers and victims and serves on national, state and local boards, as a volunteer for King Co. Bar’s Legal Clinic program, and on Highline College’s Worker Retraining and Paralegal Program’s advisory committees. She was a Democratic Party District Chair and on the State’s Central Committee and has received Democratic Party and labor endorsements.

Marty McLaren
(206) 446-0925

Marty McLaren’s three grown children all attended SPS; she has taught preschool, middle and high school mathematics, and has served on the Seattle School Board since 2011.  As a Board member, she has focused on initiatives to strengthen teaching practices and address institutionalized racism in education. She led a successful 2009 lawsuit against an inadequate SPS high school mathematics text, creating strong momentum for progressive change in Seattle Schools, despite that legal victory being overturned in 2010. Marty’s collaborative leadership style has led her to partner with varied leaders and stakeholders in Seattle Schools, working to improve outcomes for students.




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