Superintendent Pattenaude shares consistent message for success with Seattle Times
June 5, 2017—Fourteen years ago, the Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large wrote a column called, “Teacher devoted to high standards” in which he interviewed a determined, up-and-coming high school teacher who believed he could make a difference in the lives of kids in his neighborhood, his school, and his school district. Kids who he believed would all succeed if they were afforded opportunity, a quality education, and role models who looked like them and valued education.
This teacher wanted to do more to impact and improve local education; so he went off to Washington State University, enrolling in a program called Future Teachers of Color, which was created to bring some balance to the teacher corps in Washington. The program, still successful today, recruits students who have solid grades and provides mentors and other support to help them become teacher-leaders of color.
The Times writer saw potential and drive in this teacher, writing in his column, “As a young black man (the teacher) brings to the table a valuable perspective on what goes wrong and how schools might do better. And he brings a passion for changing education.”
The teacher told the Seattle Times, “I'm here to become a principal, impacting the culture of an entire school, then an entire district. Eventually, I would like to be a superintendent,"
Today, Jerry Large revisits that teacher, Damien Pattenaude, who became a principal at his own high school, Renton High; continued his education to receive a doctorate degree; and next month will fulfill his pledge to work to improve an education system as he becomes superintendent of Renton School District.
Click here to read the November, 2003 Seattle Times article
Click here to read Jerry Large’s latest column on Dr. Damien Pattenaude