Federal Way School Board wants more Moore

Tony Moore, president of the Federal Way School Board, was also a candidate for District 30 State Senate in 2010. - Courtesy photo
Tony Moore, president of the Federal Way School Board, was also a candidate for District 30 State Senate in 2010.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Federal Way School Board voted to retain president Tony Moore at Tuesday’s meeting, but the vote was not unanimous.

Board member Suzanne Smith nominated Amye Bronson-Doherty, saying that she wanted a change to foster more interaction between the board and the public.

Moore has been president for the past year, and was renominated by member Ed Barney. When it came to a vote, Smith and Bronson-Doherty voted in the minority, with Moore, Barney and member Angela Griffin favoring Moore.

Bronson-Doherty, however, was voted vice president, taking the reigns from Griffin.

When asked after the meeting why she nominated Bronson-Doherty, Smith said she “felt a change was needed in leadership.” She elaborated that she wanted to see swifter progress toward public input, or “linkage” — a pillar of the new “Policy Governance” style of conducting business.

Superintendent Robert Neu announced at the meeting that the district would begin a series of community forums on education topics beginning, tentatively, on Jan. 18.

Smith said she would like to see community forums on both education hot topics, but also in advance of major board and district decisions. She used the example of a forthcoming renewal of the district’s operations levy, and said it would be best to inform and talk with the public before the levy is at the polls.

Policy Governance

According to the board’s Policy Governance documents, the board is required to “engage with the community at a variety of its meetings and activities in order to learn from the community and to inform our policy-making decisions.” The policy also stipulates that the board “will target individual community members” and local organizations for input.

The Policy Governance system was adopted Sept. 28.

Bronson-Doherty said she’s looking forward to working with Moore to see “firsthand” how being board president works. Her responsibilities as vice president, on paper, involve leading in the president’s absence. She said she would work with Moore to set meeting agendas, and bring ideas of her own to improve the board. She specifically mentioned an idea cribbed from another district where officials meet with parents over brunch.

In the upcoming year, Moore said he would work to “put the nuts and bolts in place” and “put a foundation to” some district policies. He specifically mentioned the “standards based grading” system, which is a process for communicating student progress between teachers, parents and the student. Another is the way by which the district puts students in advanced placement classes based on their state proficiency test scores.

On Bronson-Doherty’s nomination, Moore said he was glad because she’s “wildly talented.” When asked what he could do to improve his role as president, he said he’s learning to listen better and to be “more desirous to learn.”

“A good part of having Amye (Bronson-Doherty) up here is she’ll get a different view of some of the problems,” he said of working with a new vice president. “And we’ll get a more well rounded solution.”

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