- Superintendent message on current state of race relations June 2, 2020
- Superintendent Dr. Damien Pattenaude Bio
- Dr. Damien Pattenaude named Superintendent
June 2, 2020
Renton School District Families:
Sunday night, I posted several tweets sharing my thoughts on the tragic death of George Floyd (read the tweets here). I debated all weekend about whether or not to send it out. I did not make a final decision until having a conversation with my mom Sunday evening (for the toughest issues and decisions I still lean on my parents and family for their input and support). The reason for my internal struggle was that I just did not feel that words were sufficient. Furthermore, many of the press releases and posts on social media that I read all weekend (and have continued to read) just rang hollow. It is easy to put out a press release. It is easy to express outrage via social media. When serving in a formal leadership position, it is even easier when people are expecting you to put something out and failing to do so might be politically damaging.
Simply put, what we have seen over the last week and a half in our nation is the continuation of our country’s wrestling with the scourge of racism and our failure to recognize the worth and dignity of each American, especially Black Americans. What happened in Minneapolis (or Louisville, or Brunswick) is not new. It was just caught on tape.
To seize this moment, we must unify around the issues underlying this tragedy. We cannot allow our country to be divided by hate or hijacked by senseless violence against one another. Looting and vandalism will only result in destroying the very communities that need our support right now.
As we move forward, it will be about what we do, not what we say. Will we be able to maintain this same energy and focus one month from now? One year from now? Or, will these tragedies recede from our memories until the next one takes place?
If it is a more just society we seek, there is no doubt that there is work that needs to be done locally and nationally. There is work that needs to be done in the Renton School District. There is work that I need to do. There is work that we can do together. While there is no single solution or path, there should be no dispute that the work that needs to be done stares each of us in the eyes. One “simple” step we can take is to start loving other people’s kids as much as we love our own.
This work will not be easy, nor will it be addressed in a short period of time. There is no six-point plan or book we can read that will provide the perfect solution. However, as Superintendent, I commit to doing all I can to be a part of the solution for our community. I look forward to partnering with you on this journey.
Dr. Damien Pattenaude Superintendent, Renton School District.
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Educational Leadership, Washington State University
- Master of Education, Educational Leadership, Washington State University
- Bachelor of Arts, English, Washington State University
- Assistant Superintendent Learning & Teaching, Renton School District
- Chief Academic Officer, Renton School District
- Principal, Renton High School
- Assistant Principal, Hazen High School
- Teacher, Washington State University, Pullman, WA (Secondary School Curriculum & Content Literacy Development)
- Teacher, Renton High School
- Teacher, Kent-Meridian High School
Dr. Damien Pattenaude was sworn-in as Renton School District’s new superintendent, effective July 1, 2017.
Dr. Pattenaude is a product of the Renton School District: he attended Campbell Hill Elementary School, Nelsen Middle School, and graduated from Renton High. He has also served as a teacher at Renton High; assistant principal at Hazen High; principal at Renton High; Chief Academic Officer for Secondary Schools, and Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching, with duties that include providing direct support and guidance to all district principals, teachers and support staff.
His work in the district has always been in service of improving student achievement for all children. Dr. Pattenaude lives in Renton with his family and his children attend district schools.
Read more abut Dr. Pattenaude in his bio.