The community thanked retiring Mercer Island School Board members Adair Dingle and Dave Myerson, two passionate education advocates with a combined 20 years of service, at a meeting and reception on Dec. 14.
Dingle is a computer science and software engineering professor at Seattle University who was first elected in 2005. She has four kids who have attended Mercer Island schools, and has worked with three superintendents in her 12-year tenure on the school board: Cyndy Simms, Gary Plano and now Donna Colosky.
Myerson is a scientist and physician who works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and has been actively involved in the district’s math curriculum before and since his election in 2009.
Colosky said that the two longest-serving board members “have always put students first in their outlook and decisions.”
“Both have been passionate advocates for rigorous academic standards, which has resulted in the district being recognized as one of the highest performing in the state,” she said.
Board members mentioned accomplishments made during the tenure of Dingle and Myerson, including starting the 1:1 iPad program and elementary Spanish program, first failing and then succeeding to pass a school bond that built a new elementary school and expanded the high school and middle school, and working with the community and the Boys and Girls Club to fund the PEAK facility. Both have weighed in on various educational issues, from charter schools to later start times.
Myerson said that his main goal, and his campaign platform, was to “focus on every student.”
“It is important to have a vision and promote it with persistence, consistence and insistence,” Myerson said. “My deep interest has been curriculum and teaching, though there was a temporary sidetrack regarding facilities.”
Both Dingle and Myerson were “instrumental” in the district’s 2020 vision and the fundamentals, or goals, for Mercer Island schools, Colosky said.
The three returning school board members said they’ve appreciated the institutional knowledge, intelligence, dedication and humor that Dingle and Myerson brought to discussions, sentiments echoed by former board members Leslie Farrell and Brian Emmanuels, who attended the Dec. 14 meeting.
Myerson got a laugh of the evening when he recited a Mark Twain quote.
“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice,” Myerson recited. “Then he made school boards.”
Both Myerson and Dingle said they are looking forward to having more free time, especially on Thursday nights, but that they will stay involved.
“Dave and I aren’t going anywhere,” Dingle said, adding that if the board ever needed anyone with institutional knowledge, they would be in contact.
New board members Deborah Scheider Lurie and Brian Giannini Upton were sworn in on Dec. 14. Click here for more.