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New School Board Members Take Office Today

Phyllis Fletcher

Two new members of the Seattle School Board take office Wednesday. KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher reports.


The two new board members are Sharon Peaslee and Marty McLaren.

Peaslee unseated Peter Maier. She was behind on election night and overtook Maier a week later. Peaslee says she's inspired by education reform in Finland, where she says teachers and schools have a lot of freedom.

Peaslee: "They have core standards, but they're very minimal, and teachers and schools are free to develop their curricula way beyond those core standards. So they're not being driven by the standards."

The district's current policy is influenced by the last superintendent, Maria Goodloe–Johnson. She spoke often of data–driven decisions and standards–based curriculum.

Marty McLaren unseated Steve Sundquist.

McLaren is the only new board member whose win was established on election night.

McLaren says she hopes to join the board committee on curriculum and instruction.

McLaren: "That's an area that I have a big background in, and so that would give me time to build up my detailed knowledge about the other committees."

McLaren is a retired teacher. That makes three board members who have taught in a K–12 classroom.

Peaslee and McLaren are scheduled to take an oath of office in the afternoon, then stay for three back–to–back meetings with the rest of the board.

I'm Phyllis Fletcher, KUOW News.

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