Letter to the Editor: Incoming school board director’s message to the community

Upon certification of election results, Quentin Morris will be sworn in to the school board Dec. 7.

Thanking the voters

Our community is at the eve of officially certifying the 2021 election. I write this letter to you today confident that my campaign for change will prevail and I will take the oath of office as a Federal Way School Board director. It is a profound honor to be elected to this position. It’s by means of the popular vote that citizens participate in reaffirming critical local governance in the oversight of our tailored process to educate the next generation of citizens — our children.

I am keenly aware that many did not choose to vote. Further, I recognize that by the slim margin of this victory, I do not come in with an overwhelming mandate. Indeed, some of my convictions stand in stark contrast to a constituency that may be content with or is unaware of the current state of our local school system.

Nevertheless, I will assume the duties with an energy for listening to all community voices and representing to my fullest attention and abilities those parents, educators, liaison personnel, administrators, employees and, of course, children that have not been heard over the last several years. There are many.

My compact with you is the following: 1) I will maintain regular business hours during the week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I will personally reply to your e-mails and phone calls; 2) I will not deflect or defer inquiries to someone else in the district for reply. By personally coordinating your concern, I will have a vested interest in pursuing a speedy and respectful response. This form of engagement helps all of us. It assists me in understanding how the system is or is not working in your interests, it affirms your value by knowing there is accountability, and it helps FWPS in reacting and adjusting to the needs of the community it is chartered to serve; 3) I will refuse any compact that limits my ability as an elected official to fully and publicly represent this community’s concerns, 4) I will share my opinions in summaries of policy considerations before the School Board that I feel merit community attention. This will be done periodically and regularly through accessible social media, and 5) I will present and conduct myself in a professional, yet approachable manner that welcomes all opinions and respectful dialog and/or debate.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I thank the voters that participated in the electoral process. I thank my most ardent supporters who invested their time and energy to this campaign to elect me as their avatar on the FWPS School Board. I thank in advance the current Board members, Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, and the FWPS officials for their forbearance as I learn the ropes.

In closing, I thank the entirety of the FWPS community for your trust, contributions, and assistance to helping “the rookie” to the shared task of elevating Federal Way Public Schools to the stature it deserves.

Quentin Morris,

Federal Way School Board candidate/director-elect

(Editor’s note: Newly elected school board members will be sworn in at the upcoming meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7. According to board policy, the school board acts as a team, and only the school board president is authorized to speak on behalf of the entire board. If the question is related to operations, the school board member responds and refers the question, concern, or compliment to the superintendent for a response, given that the superintendent and her team have the expertise and knowledge to respond, according to outgoing FWPS School Board President Geoffery McAnalloy. Responses aim to be provided within 24 hours.)