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School board honors mayor for past legislative work
The Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) board of directors recognized Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest for his past work as a member of the state House of Representatives, where Priest worked for education reform for the better part of seven years between 2003 to 2010.
"The students and taxpayers of the Federal Way School District were directly benefited by his leadership in the 2013-14 school year," board president Tony Moore read from the proclamation, "due to increased K-12 funding, which increased maintenance funding, restored elementary counselors, supported all-day kindergarten for all students, eliminated many fees for parents, and (began) to reduce class size…The Board of Directors recognizes and thanks former House of Representatives (member) Skip Priest for his leadership, knowledge, and commitment to public education."
Priest, who served on the House Appropriations Committee, the House Education Committee and as part of the Quality Education Council, was on hand for the recognition at the board's Sept. 10 meeting, saying the commitment from leaders like the current board and past boards made his work in Olympia achievable.
"I can speak with great honesty that I was honored to represent a city and a school district that truly believes in 'all means all.' And year after year, for the last 20-something years that I've been involved in this community, that has been (the board's) commitment," Priest said. "I know that you all carry on that commitment, and so, Federal Way became the example as we made our case that additional funding was needed, and that if this state believed education was it's paramount duty, then it was up to all of us to recognize that it was going to take additional funding, particularly in areas like early learning and K-3 class size reductions, and other fundamentals like transportation, to achieve that goal."
The mayor continued, saying that he feels the honor belongs with those who give their time and energy to education, like the board and district administrators and staff.
"It's nice of you to honor me, but the honor goes to this school board and the prior school boards and superintendents before it, for their work in their commitment to give everyone a chance to be successful," Priest concluded.