Blanford  Headshot FINALThank you, Seattle voters, for the overwhelming victory in last night’s General Election! I’m both humbled and inspired by the margin of victory, and will do all I can to justify your endorsement of the campaign.

Huge thanks are extended to every volunteer, donor, advisor, friend  and voter who made these last seven months the amazing journey that it was. As I turn my attention towards serving on the School Board, I want you to know how grateful I am for your support and encouragement. Thank you so very much!

Thanks for your interest in the School Board races for Seattle Schools. I’m pleased that you found my website!

As a parent of a 5th Grader enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, I have seen, firsthand, the challenges confronting public education, but also the limitless opportunities. I’ve volunteered in classrooms in her school and others to understand the needs of Seattle students and have listened to parents, teachers and administrators to understand their unique perspectives. Each year at the school, I am assigned one troubled child to mentor, leveraging my experience as a volunteer and leader in the Big Brothers of King County program and as Executive Director of the Rotary Boys and Girls Club in Seattle’s Central District.

As a scholar of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, I have researched nearly 100 K-12 schools throughout our city, state and the nation, studying innovative approaches to education reform . I wrote a dissertation on schools and school districts which have significantly reduced achievement and opportunity gaps while simultaneously raising achievement for all students – I believe that these schools can serve as a model for schools in our district which have historically struggled to fulfill these dual missions. And in my professional life, I’ve shared what I’ve learned, helping teachers, principals and administrators improve instruction in their schools through my small business, Lighthouse Consulting.

I hope to bring this perspective and these experiences to the Seattle School Board, because I believe that children and our city deserve a world-class public education system, one that supports every child to reach their vast potential and compete effectively in our globally competitive world. Our city routinely is deemed one of the most education-focused, most supportive of its public schools. Our children and our city deserve a school district that we can all be proud. I have seen what great education can do for an individual student, his or her family and their community. I have studied what innovative leaders do to transform classrooms, schools and school districts into institutions of excellence and equity. And I’d like the opportunity to work with our Superintendent and the others on the board to provide leadership that achieves these goals for Seattle Public Schools.