Seattle Public Schools

Celebrations and Service  

Summary: Schools honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, assemblies, and school campus beautification projects.

John Rogers Elementary 

A group of John Rogers students sing in front of a projector with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on it.

Students, staff, and families celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an assembly showcasing the life and legacy of the civil rights leader. Music teacher Stephanie Trinneer created a song- and fact-filled assembly that not only featured student voice but uplifted their activism.  

Students shared important facts about Dr. King’s life, then the audience watched his iconic speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” — which filled the entire auditorium with multiple rounds of enthusiastic applause.  

This was followed by a group performance of the songs “Sing About Martin” and “Who Was Martin Luther King.” The assembly ended with a video montage of students sharing their dreams for the world. Some dreams included wanting everyone to be treated fairly, for people not to be judged by how they look, and never letting anyone feel left out. 

Orca K-8 

Orca K-8 MLK Day parade participants smile at the camera

Braving freezing temperatures, hundreds of students, parents and staff from Orca K-8 marched to Interagency Academy in a parade celebrating Dr. King. Cleveland STEM High School’s drumline and musicians from Franklin High School provided the soundtrack as Orca students marched down Rainier Avenue guided by Principal Beverly Luster and Seattle’s Motorcycle Police.  

Once students arrived at Interagency, Principal Sharonda Willingham addressed the crowd, and students gathered for a group photo before returning to Orca. 

Denny International Middle School 

Denny students painting school bleachers

In partnership with City Year Seattle/King County, more than 100 community members and families descended on Denny International Middle School to help with campus beautification projects for the MLK Day of Service. 

Volunteers painted murals, improved campus landscaping, cleaned, and organized the school for students, faculty, and staff. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal gave the keynote address. She represents Washington’s 7th District, which encompasses most of Seattle and its surrounding areas.  

Ingraham High School 

Student with pink braids sings a solo during a choir concert

The theme of this year’s assembly celebrating the life of Dr. King at Ingraham High School’s was “I Am the Dream.”  

Students from different backgrounds came together in spoken word and song to pay homage to the civil rights leader and Black history. 

In a special video presentation, students in the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Associated Student Body (ASB) shared what living the dream means to them, while BSU students took to the stage to recite quotes from powerful Black leaders. 

Under the direction of Katie Wood, the school’s choir performed moving renditions of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “This Little Light of Mine.” Under the direction of Shane Henderson, the jazz band wowed the audience with a dynamic performance of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt and Peanut.”