News

Curtis named to school board

Mary Curtis, a long-time volunteer for island schools, was sworn in Thursday as a member of the school board.

Selected by other board members, she fills the post vacated by Mike Scott, who moved out of the Fletcher Bay-area neighborhood that comprises District Five.

“I’m delighted,” Curtis said, “I couldn’t be happier. (The school board) is a great group.”

Curtis brings an impressive list of school volunteer posts and accomplishments - a record she began to accrue soon after moving to the island 10 years ago from Berkeley, Calif., with her husband, Stan, and their four sons.

Curtis had worked there as editor and writer for the Radiation Biophysics Group at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1973 with a double degree in English and sociology.

While the three oldest boys were grown by the time Curtis moved to Bainbridge, Benjamin, her youngest, was just 4-years old, and Curtis soon became a classroom helper at his school, Ordway Elementary. From his kindergarten year through fourth grade, Curtis would hold that post. She was also PTO enrichment coordinator for the school.

As her son moved moved up the grades, so did Curtis.

At Sakai, she was again classroom parent helper and led the school’s site council as president. She served on school board committees that retooled the program for gifted kids; redesigned K-6 report cards; and evaluated communication between the schools and the larger community.

“I’m one of those people who really believes in public education,” she said. “I’ve found the Bainbridge Island School District very welcoming to parents. I think it’s one of their great strengths.”

Curtis has given to the island in other ways, as well, serving on the Bainbridge library’s public relations committee for three years and writing articles for the library’s newsletter; co-chairing Bainbridge Performing Arts’ Home Tour fundraiser in 1995; and serving on the grant-writing committee of the Bainbridge Island Schools Trust, a position she still holds.

Her commitments have not curtailed family activities, which include hiking, sailing, time with grandchildren and reading.

“We love to read aloud,” she said. “We recently read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’”

Curtis will choose several committees on which to serve. Those are likely to reflect her interest in school finances and in curriculum development. Driving all her work, she says, will be the dedication to students that the rest of the board brings to the task.

“It really came home to me at the meeting Thursday how the kids really are the bottom line for this group,” she said. “Through all the discussion of finances and facilities, what it’s really about is the kids.”

Community Events, April 2014

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