Katie Rose swearing in ceremony, Dec. 2019

In November 2019, Katie Rose was elected to the school board and was sworn in and took the oath of office on Dec. 11, 2019.

Below is a short, introductory interview with Director Katie Rose originally published in the Winter 2020 edition of InsideSchools.

What inspired you to run for school board?

It’s something that I’ve thought about for a while. When I was a kid, Hillary Clinton was my hero. I used to read the voters’ pamphlet for fun, even before I could vote. I think I’ve always had that mindset that I’d run for public office, but it was one of those things where it didn’t ever seem to be the optimal time in my life to be running. I’m a single mom with two kids in elementary school and I have two jobs. But at the same time it felt like, even though that’s a challenge, I can make it work, and I think having that kind of voice and perspective can be valuable.

Can you share some reflections about Bellingham Public Schools?

I want us to think more about how we’re interacting with families at every level. I think Bellingham Public Schools has made incredible progress in such a short amount of time to do what’s right for all

kids and families. But I also think about how so many of our parents experienced school and how it was likely very different than their children’s current experience. I don’t want any students’ school experience to be dependent upon their parents’ social skills or past experience in our schools. We’ve done so much to help families, and at the same time, there are so many barriers to parents getting involved.

What are you most looking forward to?

Mostly I’m just excited to learn. I like to get nerdy, and I am really excited about the way that systems work together. Coming from the non-profi t world, there is a lot of focus on working with clients one-to-one, but you don’t always see how all of these pieces intersect with each other. Our school district is a big institution that interacts with a lot of local groups offering different services. I’m looking forward to better understanding how we all work together and how it helps our students and families.

Which part of The Bellingham Promise is most important to you?

I really love the idea of The Bellingham Promise, and there’s clearly so much support from the board and our community. To me, the spirit of The Promise is that your child is a person and we care about who they are and who they become. It’s really that simple.

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