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November 16, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Steve Sundquist, Peter Maier, Roscoe Bass honored at Seattle School Board meeting

It was a night for tributes at Wednesday night’s Seattle School Board meeting.

Board members, district officials and community members honored longtime school administrator Roscoe Bass, who died last week, and Steve Sundquist and Peter Maier, both of whom appear headed for defeat in their bids for re-election to the board.

“Autumn is a time of change and passage, and that’s what it feels like tonight to me,” board vice president Michael DeBell said before launching into a speech discussing all three men.

DeBell was joined by almost all of the other board members in praising Bass, who served as principal of Garfield High School and Sharples Alternative High School. Officials also suspended their normal rules for public comment to allow a group of community members to offer a description of Bass’ life.

“He was a very dedicated man to kids, and we’re really going to miss him,” board member Betty Patu said.

Then the officials turned their attention to the board members who soon may be off the school board.

Sundquist, a one-term incumbent and the current board president who conceded to retired teacher Marty McLaren on Sunday, received lengthy praise from Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield.

“Finding leaders who lead from a place of true integrity and commitment to serving what is in the best interests of children is rare,” she said. “And in my experience working with Director Sundquist, that integrity and commitment has been there from the first time I met him.”

Enfield’s remarks prompted a standing ovation from the crowd, the second such response he got that day. Earlier Wednesday, at a luncheon to present the district’s annual scorecard, Sundquist received an unusually long ovation from the crowd of community leaders and education officials.

The result of Maier’s race is less clear — his challenger, Sharon Peaslee, leads by just 742 votes — but officials praised him in case it was his last meeting.

“He was always prepared extremely well for board meetings and for the deliberations and debate that was necessary to come to a good decision,” said DeBell, who called Maier “tenacious.”

“I hope the voters of Seattle realize how much you have done for the voters of Seattle Public Schools,” DeBell added, speaking about both Sundquist and Maier.

Sundquist and Maier both said it had been an honor to serve and they would continue to be involved in the community.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Betty Patu, Marty McLaren, Michael DeBell

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