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    One is The Arts Administrator of the Year and the Other Volunteered for Almost Five Decades
    Posted on 09/07/2017
    Image of School Board standing with LouAnne Rundall

    Board Recognitions

     

    Visual and Performing Arts Manager, Gail Sehlhorst

    The Seattle School Board recognized Visual and Performing Arts Manager, Gail Sehlhorst, for being named the Washington Arts Education Association (WAEA) Administrator of the Year.

    Sehlhorst has dedicated much of her career to closing arts access gaps across the district and region. Most recently, she launched the Arts Media Skills Center that offers students creative pathways in modern mediums, while guiding other programs, like the The Creative Advantage, to success. At every turn, Sehlhorst demonstrates her passion for culturally responsible teaching in the arts and her unwavering focus on social justice and equity by bringing arts to kids across the city of Seattle.

    “Really and truly, nothing happens without a team of people,” explained a modest Sehlhorst during her board recognition. “The arts are a space where [the creative process] happens and it’s transferable to other areas of life and of school.

    Selhorst’s work is responsible for exposing thousands of students to the arts. At the same time her accomplishments have eliminated opportunity gaps for students.

    The WEAE is an arts association dedicated to promoting excellence in visual arts education, advocacy, leadership, professional development, and scholarship in Washington State.

    Image of Sehlhorst and board

     

    Library Volunteer, LouAnne Rundall

    The School Board voted, unanimously, to rename the Highland Park Elementary School library in honor of 81-year-old LouAnne Rundall who has worked in the library for almost the last five decades. 

    Rundall started working at Highland Park as a paid library assistant in 1968. For the past 49 years, she has helped countless students and staff at Highland Park and Roxhill Elementary. However, do not tell Rundall she has volunteered all that time because she will be quick to correct. 

    As Rundall explains, two years after beginning her library career as a paid assistant her position was eliminated for budget reasons. Rundall continued to work every day, from morning to afternoon, paid in memories of generations of children she has watched graduate and start careers and families of their own. 

    At Wednesday’s board meeting, fellow, younger, teachers shared their memories of Rundall, including how, every day, she would bring-in three coffee cakes to school and place them on a table in the faculty lounge. These days, she has cut it back to three cakes a week and the memories of Rundall’s ability to organize, categorize, and systemize are qualities her colleagues talk about most. 

    “That library runs like clockwork with her in there,” shared SPS librarian Chris Robert at the board meeting. “She’s just amazing and there is no doubt that the library should be named after her.” 

    On the morning of the first day of school, Highland Park students, families, and staff flooded the school’s gymnasium to honor and surprise Rundall with news the school board would soon vote to rename their library in honor of her. That evening, all six board directors made it official. Now, each time she steps inside for another day of volunteering, she will be walking into the library that, rightfully, bears her name: the LouAnne Rundall Library. 

    image of Rundall and board

    Here is a video of the board vote to rename Highland Park's library.

    Here is a video of the whole board meeting, including recognition of Gail Sehlhorst.