David Wilson announces retirement from Shoreline School Board

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

David Wilson is retiring from
Shoreline School Board

David Wilson, School Board Director for Director District 3 and current Vice President of the Board, announced that he is resigning his position, effective September 12, 2020. 

He shared a speech at Monday night’s board meeting which can be found below. Director Wilson was sworn onto the Board on November 30, 2005. 

Superintendent Rebecca Miner said of Director Wilson, “I am honored to have served with David. 
"I have had the pleasure of service with many board members and David’s tireless attendance at events are a testament to his respect for the students and staff in Shoreline. 
"He had a heart for the students in this work and our District owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his countless hours of service over nearly 15 years.”

The District will begin to look for a replacement for Director Wilson in the near future. Information about that process will be shared on the District’s website and through Shoreline Area News.


Text of Director Wilson’s Speech

I begin this evening by saying thank you to an amazing woman, my wife Linda.

She is the rock that we have built our family on and there is no doubt that the success of our family would not have occurred without her guiding influence.

One of the very important lessons in life is knowing when it is time to move on. Do not overstay your welcome. Do the right thing.

It is now my turn to do the right thing and so this evening I am tendering my resignation effective September 12, 2020. By doing this 2 months ahead I am enabling this board to start a search for my replacement earlier. Superintendent Miner has the details.

Twenty-three years ago the Wilsons arrived having left scenic New Jersey for the west coast. My parents had recently passed away and it was time for a new adventure. My wife (Linda) had grown up in Kenmore and had been a teacher in the Shoreline school district. We began to venture forth to find a new home but not before Linda told us with great clarity “we could buy any house we wanted (within reason, of course) as long as it was in Shoreline.” This was where she was going to raise her family. We found a home in Shoreline.

My kids went to school and I set up shop in our basement. It did not take long for me to find new opportunity. One day Linda came home from a PTA board meeting and stated, “nobody was willing to be PTA President.” She also thought I would be good for the job. We decided I would do it (be careful what you wish for) and so I became the President of the Sunset PTA. This led to participating in a number of other committees, becoming part of the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation Board, ultimately Foundation Co-President and finally election to the School Board.

I would like to mention a few major board accomplishments that stand out to me during my tenure.

Early on in my first term, we discovered the financial health of the district was in trouble. Our board worked with support from the state to turn this situation around. The most difficult call at that time was the need to close two elementary schools, Sunset and North City. My children went to Sunset.

During this time on the board it was hard for me to buy a head of lettuce. This is what I call the “Got a minute “ time. Inevitably you forget a key item in the preparation of dinner. I would go to the store grab a head of lettuce and just as I turned for the cashier it happened, “Excuse me, do you have a minute.” There is no such thing as a singular minute. A 45 minute discussion of “Why Sunset / North City” followed. By the time I returned home the dinner dishes were being put in the washer and my dinner was warming in the oven. 

Always give the time necessary to explain a board decision.

During my tenure Shoreline offered Half-Day Kindergarten for all students who were of the proper age. However, if you had the resources and was willing to pay the extra amount your child could attend All-Day Kindergarten. Guess which demographic could not afford to send their student to All-Day Kindergarten? guess which students needed it the most? It did not take long to figure out how unfair this was. Our Board gathered the required resources through budgeting and voted to offer Free All-Day Kindergarten 2 years before the state offered it to Shoreline. I believe that if you asked the board members of that time, this would have been what they were most proud of.

I worked with different configurations of our boards to oversee the construction of 6 new schools during my 15 year tenure. Shorewood High School, Shorecrest High School, Parkwood Elementary, Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center, Kellogg Middle School and Einstein Middle School.

The most important thing about these 6 buildings is that they are your buildings, paid for with Levy dollars that you approved. Never forget that you live in a community that prides itself on P - 12 Education. Never lower the bar of expectation.

One of the new schools was the Early Learning Center. The naming of this school became the personal quest of an amazing young women Sara Haycox and we were smart enough to listen. Through her efforts the new pre-school was renamed the Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center. Pratt was a leading Civil Rights leader in his time who moved to Shoreline and was killed on his doorstep in 1969. His actions and leadership could easily be considered a precursor to what is happening in the streets of Seattle at this time.

One of the things I am very proud of is the establishment of the District’s Equity and Family Engagement Department. In 2014 the district began a deep examination of equity in our district leading to the establishment of the department. Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder was hired as our first Director of Equity and Family engagement in 2015 and hit the ground running. In 2017 the Shoreline School Board, with the guidance of Dr. Brandon-Felder introduced and passed a race and equity policy. The leadership that she has demonstrated throughout the Shoreline school district has been incredible. Rarely in my 15 years, have I seen an individual make such an impact in such a short space of time. Thank you Dr. Brandon-Felder.

I would like to end this evening by thanking those who served with me on the School board.

Dick Potter 
Dick Nicholson
Debi Ehrlichman 
Mike Jacobs
Sue Walker, Superintendent
Maren Norton
Heather Fralick
Meghan Jernigan
Rebeca Rivera
Sara Betnel
Rebecca Miner, Superintendent

I have enjoyed working with each of you and I hope that the feeling was mutual. I think we all can say that good boards take time to learn how to work together. Given that time great things can happen. 

This board focused on working with our community to build new educational facilities. This would not have happened without the dedication to detail that was constantly on display. 

We look forward to celebrating what the next Board will bring to the district. It is made up of individuals, like previous boards, that have a mission that wants to make the Shoreline School District better and we need to support them

My final thought as I leave this Board is one that has never been more important

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Get Involved. Please Vote!!!




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