Governor visits West Seattle Elementary School

Just back from West Seattle Elementary in High Point, where the King Day “Day of Service” work as part of the Hands on Schools project (previewed here on Thursday) got a major kickoff this morning featuring Governor Gregoire, her husband (aka “First Mike”), and Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott. Here’s our first clip, the governor joining in the City Year volunteers’ traditional morning warmup:

Tara Smith with Seattle Works tells WSB that local families are welcome to come by during the work today, which is under way through 3 pm (though the governor’s not staying all day) — they’ve got “family-friendly” activities for ages 5-12. More video ahead, including Gov. Gregoire on Dr. King, plus some of what West Seattle Elementary principal Gayle Everly and Rep. McDermott had to say:

With Seattle Public Schools’ chief academic officer Carla Santorno at her side, the principal told the volunteers that this day helps fulfill a vision she had when High Point Elementary and now-closed Fairmount Park Elementary were combined to create her school:

Here’s Rep. McDermott, who congratulated the volunteers for not taking King Day as a “day off” but rather using it as a “day on”:

Pardon the shakiness on that one; we got jostled – quite the crowd there, not just volunteers but also the citywide media, who all wanted to ask Gov. Gregoire about the Husky Stadium money issue. But that was after her short speech, which included this musing about the young volunteers’ perspective on Dr. King as a historical figure, versus her generation’s recollection of hearing about his work while it was happening:

We checked back in a few hours after all this, for an update you’ll see shortly. Meantime, it’s been pointed out that a lot of this is thanks to corporate support as well as raw people-power; we mentioned the Home Depot employees last Thursday, and West Seattleite Shauna Causey from Comcast points out that a $25,000 grant from Comcast played a big role in the events too. Here’s her photo of Comcast senior VP Len Rozek and City Year executive director Gayatri Eassey (both of whom also spoke this morning) with the guv:


City Year and Seattle Works are both amazing service organizations; read more about CY here, more about SW here.

Citywide media coverage of today’s event:,

2 Replies to "Governor visits West Seattle Elementary School"

  • YOYO January 21, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    Small world, I went to high school with Tara Smith (on the eastside).

  • JenV January 21, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    hmmm… too bad she did not get a chance to experience morning madness traffic on the viaduct while she was here. Maybe then she would re-think her plan to tear it down. :)

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