Friday, July 13, 2012

Welcome, Superintendent José Banda!

Superintendent José Banda with
guests (Credit: Ilona Berzups)
We enter summer with a new Seattle Public Schools superintendent, José Banda, and a sustained commitment to fostering the finest public education system possible in our city. Two weeks ago, the Alliance for Education, in partnership with El Centro de la Raza, nearly thirty other community organizations, and approximately 300 guests, welcomed Mr. Banda to our city.

A wide array of educators, school staff, parents, civic leaders, elected officials, and corporate partners attended the Welcome Reception. The following community members offered brief remarks:

Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza exhorted guests to come together in unity, quoting the poet and activist José Martí: "the peoples of the world must rush to get to know each other." Sara Morris, President and CEO of the Alliance for Education, noted that the Alliance was founded on the bedrock belief of the district being a "learning system," and looked forward to pushing forward that vision under the leadership of Superintendent Banda. Tom Stritikus, Dean and Professor at the College of Education at the University of Washington welcomed the "beloved community" (another nod to José Martí) in Spanish. Michael DeBell, Seattle Public School Board President stated, "I am asking all of you to help Jose Banda get deeply grounded in the community." Jose Banda, incoming Seattle Public Schools Superintendent, affirmed his commitment to the city: "I believe already that this is going to be a good fit."

The Seattle Times covered the event, capturing key quotes from attendees on their thoughts on what Mr. Banda needs to know about Seattle.

The vibrancy and diversity of our community was beautifully apparent that night. As Mr. Banda noted, there are so many people who genuinely want to give to Seattle Public Schools. As part of that community, we are eager to support Mr. Banda's success as he begins the work of leading our schools. The Alliance has always held its standards high, pressing for leadership with integrity, excellent academic results, and earned trust. This month we start a new chapter with Superintendent Banda.

View more photos from the event here.

Thank you to the Host Committee!

ACLU of Washington, Alliance for Education, Arab American Community Coalition, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Casa Latina , Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy, Child Care Resources, City of Seattle, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, Denise Louie Education Center, El Centro de la Raza, Goddard College, Horn of Africa, Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores After School Program, The Martinez Foundation, Nate Miles, Paola Maranan, Racial and Social Justice Community Roundtable, Refugee Women's Alliance, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, Senior Services, Somali Community Services Coalition, South East Seattle Education Coalition, The Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, University of Washington, Youth Ambassadors

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