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Seattle School District No. 1

Director District No. 1

Liza Rankin

Liza Rankin

PO BOX 9100


(503) 395-5253



Education: Bachelor of Arts, Theater, Whitman College; Masters of Fine Arts, Theater Design, Brandeis University
Occupation: School Board Director, Adjunct Lecturer, Mom, Community Organizer, Nonprofit Leader

As a School Board Member and PTSA leader, I’ve worked over a decade alongside families, educators, and communities across Seattle. I know the incredible successes of our schools, and the systemic and institutional challenges we face. I’m running to continue my work to improve experiences and outcomes for all our students, guided by community vision and values.


Over three challenging years, I have worked to make positive changes centered on student well-being. During the pandemic I volunteered at COVID test sites and in our schools. After the Ingraham High shooting I worked directly with students, parents, and staff to review district policies and champion gun violence prevention. I’ve led inclusive education policy changes in Instructional Philosophy and Special Education.


As the Board’s Legislative Liaison, I helped secure additional state resources for special education (WA State is now finally in federal compliance!), as well as access to career and technical education, and needed behavioral health support for students. I led efforts to ban isolation and limit restraint in SPS– practices that disproportionately impact students of color and with disabilities. Our policy is now a state model for preventative and restorative practices. 


Together, we can meet the needs of our diverse learners and make our public schools the top choice for education for Seattle’s families. I’m committed to navigating budget and enrollment challenges with transparency, clarity, and community partnership– to maximize student benefit while operating within our means. I will continue putting my skills and experience to work to rebuild not only trust and confidence, but joy and excitement throughout our education system. I ask for your vote.


Endorsements: The Stranger; Alliance for Gun Responsibility; Moms Demand Action “Gun Sense Candidate”; King County Democrats; OneAmerica Votes; Democratic Legislators; County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay; School Board President Brandon Hersey; National Women’s Political Caucus; more!

Debbie Carlsen

Debbie Carlsen

P.O. BOX 75435


(206) 455-1154

Education: Western Washington University, Political Change through Feminist and Ethnic Studies; Seattle University, Teaching Certificate
Occupation: Educator (early learning), Parent, Advocacy Consultant, Washington Communities for Children

Our public schools have been critical to educating and creating opportunities for generations of Seattle’s children, but we must work to increase academic achievement, foster a healthy and inclusive learning environment, and ensure the district is managed with transparency and accountability. School closures have deep and lasting impacts on communities and should be an absolute last resort after exhausting all other options to balance the budget.


The inequities in academic achievement need urgent attention and focus to make Seattle Public Schools the exemplary learning environment students deserve. My priorities as a School Board Director will be:


Calling for a district-wide audit to ensure dollars are spent with fiscal accountability; ensuring students can thrive and feel safe while gaining a high-quality education, no matter their identity; implementing a stronger community engagement process, especially when big district decisions are made, that centers communities furthest from educational opportunities; bringing transparency back in the budget and policy development processes.


Representation matters. I’m running to bring a strong LGBTQ+ voice to the school board and ensure students of all identities feel a sense of belonging at school.


I bring experience from the classroom, the workplace, and the community. I taught English as a second language in Renton. I have served on the Best Start for Kids Advisory Board, as Executive Director of an LGBTQ+ nonprofit, as an Interim Policy Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Washington, and as mobilization contractor for Children’s Alliance. I’ve been the Advocacy Chair for the Olympic Hills PTA. I have a firsthand understanding of the challenges and opportunities in our schools – and how to successfully make change happen.


Endorsed: Seattle Times, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Teresa Mosqueda, Lorena González, MLK Labor Council, School Board Director Lisa Rivera Smith, and more. I’d be honored to earn your vote.

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TTY: Relay 711

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