Decision Time

We six candidates for the open Mukilteo School Board position sat quietly in the back row of a small room of maybe 15 people.   The board sat in front at a semi-circle board-type table facing us.  The Board President gaveled the meeting into session.

He made a few remarks about the difficulty of the decision and how pleased they were that so many had sought this position.  Two other board members also talked about the decision  and the quality of the candidates.

Then the President gaveled for the question:  All in favor of the appointment of (the guy sitting to my left) say aye.  And they did.  And that was it.  The gentleman next to me who  I had actually just chatted with while waiting for the meeting to start is the new District 5 board member.

As I learned of his credentials I realized they made an excellent choice.  He is younger than me, probably smarter than me and has been very active in a lot of non-profit stuff.  And he has a master’s degree in economics, which will be very much needed as the district looks to probably more cuts in an already reduced budget.

I was both disappointed and relieved.   I think I would have done a good job and my background would have been an asset, thus the disappointment.  I was sort of relieved because most of the board is turning over in November and who knows what the chemistry will become?

I’ve been impressed with the board, their process and how they made the decision.  Ultimately time will tell how the new guy does and how the new board does.   But it looks good for right now.

This district has long been among the top performing in the entire state.  It has a rich legacy of providing an excellent education across a wide variety of learning abilities.  Yet, there is hard work ahead and I wish them well.  The challenges will not be easy.  But history tells us they will be up to it.

So, while I’m disappointed I’m happy for John Gahagan, the new guy.  I shook his hand and said:  “Be careful what you wish for.”  I wish him and the board continued success and they should know I’m happy to pitch in wherever I can to help.

Song of the Day:


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Judy on October 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    You’re a class act and a gracious guy, Jan. Thanks so much for going through the process and for your ongoing support of the Mukilteo School District.

    Love the James Taylor connection!


  2. Posted by Geoff Short on October 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Jan – I really appreciate that you put yourself out there for consideration – you have many talents and excellent experience and a great attitude. My daughter Rebekah also thought highly of you (she knew of you from DDB and Holland America). Please stay involved and continue your support for the students and the District. We need people like you, in such areas as the citizens’ Levy committee, district-wide committees, etc.

    Thanks, Geoff Short


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