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    School Board District VII Appointment Process

    During the May 15, 2019 board meeting, the Seattle School Board accepted the resignation of Director Betty Patu effective July 1, 2019. The board has established procedures for appointing replacement school board director positions.

    Director Patu has represented District VII (7), which encompasses Southeast Seattle, since 2009. In November 2018, she was elected to her third term as District VII director.

    Per state law (RCW 28A.343.370), because the vacancy occurred outside the regular election cycle, the current board will appoint a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term. The appointment term will be until the November 2021 election. The appointee can run for office during the 2021 campaign cycle. It is the intent of the board to run a transparent process and publicly swear in the final candidate at a regular board meeting on September 18, 2019.

    Background: Seattle Public Schools is the largest district in the state, home to over 53,000 diverse students that attend over 100 schools. The district has an operating budget of over $1.5 billion. A seven-person board of directors provides organizational governance as well as hiring and evaluating the superintendent. Each director, while responsible for governance of the entire district, also represent seven distinct districts that represent neighborhoods across Seattle.

    View map of all school director districts.PDF icon

    View District VII map. PDF icon


    Applicants for the position must reside within the boundaries of District VII, be U.S. citizens, and registered voters. Please see District VII Candidate webpage for appointment criteria and process timeline.

    Read more about the District VII candidates.

    Questions for Candidates from the Community

    Feedback from the community will assist the board in it's appointment decision. Questions that were collected with the online and paper-based forms will also assist in drafting a short common, written questionnaire that all interested applicants must submit. Answers to the questionnaire will be publicly posted on each candidate's Seattle Public Schools webpage and shared at the Public Candidate District VII Forum at Rainier Beach High School.

    Read the questions submitted from the community.

    Timeline for Appointment

    June 17: Invitation for candidates to submit a letter of interest and work experience/resume will be distributed via multiple channels; Information about the process will be shared with families, staff, students, and partners and they will be invited to provide feedback on questions asked of candidates. Input will shape the candidate questionnaire and public forums.

    June 28: Letter of interest and work experience/resume deadline for interested candidates.

    June 28: Deadline for community, family, student, staff input on candidate questions.

    July 5: Individual candidate webpages published. Pages include candidates’ letters of interest and work experience.

    July 15: School Board holds a public special meeting (Work Session) on the School Board District VII Appointment Process from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Board Office Conference Room at the John Stanford Center.

    July 29 (NEW): Completed candidate questionnaires are due by Monday, July 29, 2019 at 9 a.m. 

    Date TBD: Completed candidate questionnaires will be shared publicly on each individual’s webpage.

    Date TBD (NEW): School Board holds a public special meeting (Work Session) on the School Board District VII Appointment Process. During this meeting, it is anticipated that the Board will select questions for the August 7 forum.

    August 7: Public Candidate District VII Forum at Rainier Beach High School, 6 - 9 p.m. All candidates will have the opportunity to share why they are interested in serving on the Seattle School Board.

    For those that can’t attend in person, the forum will be filmed and distributed through channel 26 and YouTube. A Facebook Live event will run for the duration of the event. Translation supports will be provided in Spanish, Somali, Chinese, and Vietnamese as well as American Sign Language. If there are additional translation needs, please call Translation and Interpretation Services at: 206-252-0070 or

    August 21 (NEW): Public special board meeting to select the three finalist candidates from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the John Stanford Center.

    September 11 (NEW): Public Candidate District VII Forum from 6 - 9 p.m. (Location is to be determined). During this forum, the three finalists will be invited to answer questions from the community.

    September 18 (NEW): School Board vote on the applicants during the Regular School Board meeting, which begins at 4:15 p.m. at the John Stanford Center auditorium. The applicant that is selected will be sworn in during the Regular Board meeting.