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Welch runs for Mercer Island School Board

Reporter Staff

Former Mercer Island School District teacher MaryMargaret Welch has filed for Position 3 for the Mercer Island School Board. She will running against the board’s incumbent,attorney Lisa Strauch Eggers.

“I’ve wanted to run for the Mercer Island School Board for years, and now that I have a role outside the district — while still being connected to the educational world — it’s the perfect time,” Welch told the Reporter.

Welch taught for 13 years in the Mercer Island School District. She is currently the associate principal for curriculum and instruction at Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue. In 2005-2006 she was also dean of student activities at Mercer Island High School (MIHS). She lead the effort to form a student advisory program at the school and was an advocate for student leadership.

In a recent press release, the educator said she “looks forward to bringing her depth of experience to the position.” Her vision, the press release stated, “is to guide the district toward creating an educational system which focuses on the whole child and meets the needs of all students, from those requiring extra support to those desiring more challenge.” Welch said the district needs strong leadership that is “fiscally responsible, recognizes and cultivates exemplary educators, and puts kids at the center of each and every decision.”

The former MIHS science teacher taught, among other subjects, the advanced placement bio-med class and biology, and was also chair of the science department at the school. She left the district in 2006 after accepting the associate principal position at Eastside Catholic.

A few of her many recognitions include: the 2006 Puget Sound Educational Service District’s teacher of the year award, Amgen award for Science Teaching Excellence, Washington state Outstanding Biology Teacher award and the Golden Acorn. She also spearheaded efforts to begin the Mercer Island High School Bridges Advisory Program in 2004.

“I think, more than anything, I can bring the student voice to the table, so we can discuss how to best serve them,” she said.

A native of Michigan, Welch and her husband, Dan, have lived on Mercer Island for 22 years. They have three children, all of whom graduated from the Mercer Island School District.

“This is my home, and I care immensely about what’s going on in the education system,” Welch said. “I’ve been in the world of education for a long time.”

In 2002, Welch won two distinctions: the Outstanding Teacher Award in High School Science from the Pacific Science Center and the Pacific Northwest Chapter’s Pathfinder Award. She also received the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001.

Mercer Island, she pointed out, has all of the ingredients to be an extraordinary district -—strong parent support, exceptional educators, kids who come to school ready to learn, community commitment and resources.

“I would bring to the position my passion for student learning, vision for academic excellence, focus on the whole child and a commitment to help all children reach their personal best,” she said.

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