Dean McColgan

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Dean McColgan
Dean McColgan.jpg
Former candidate for
Seattle Public Schools, District 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionAugust 6, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sGonzaga University
ProfessionMuseum development director
Campaign website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Dean McColgan was a candidate in District 4 of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors in Washington. He lost to fellow challengers Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters in the August 6, 2013 primary election for the seat currently held by Michael DeBell. McColgan was campaigning for a stronger focus on STEM fields, closing the achievement gap and improving the reputation of the board.


McColgan grew up in Hawaii and moved to Washington to attend Gonzaga University. He later graduated from the school with a B.A. in Communications. McColgan served as a member of the City Council and Mayor of Federal Way, Washington from 2000 to 2008. He currently works as the Director of Development for the Museum of Flight. McColgan and his wife have two children and one grandchild.[1]



See also: Seattle Public Schools elections (2013)

General election

Sue Peters defeated Suzanne Dale Estey for the District 4 seat on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors

Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, General election, District 4, Four-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSue Peters 54.8% 92,552
     Nonpartisan Suzanne Dale Estey 44.8% 75,758
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 642
Total Votes 168,952
Source: King County Elections, "Certified Results," November 25, 2013


McColgan placed third in the August 6, 2013 primary against Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters and failed to advance to the November 5, 2013 general election.[2]

Seattle Board of Directors, Primary, District 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSuzanne Dale Estey 47.8% 6,422
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSue Peters 41.4% 5,560
     Nonpartisan Dean McColgan 10.9% 1,461
Total Votes 13,443
Source: King County Elections, "August 6, 2013 primary election results," August 20, 2013


McColgan reported $2,132.73 in contributions and $986.80 in expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which left his campaign with $1,145.93 on hand.[3]

Campaign themes


McColgan's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2013:[4]

Confidence in school board

"The School Board needs to work hard to gain the confidence of the community by focusing on its job of developing policy and managing a budget. It also needs to be diligent in making all district employees accountable for their work."

Teacher participation

"I want to close the achievement gap by specifically working with teachers at the middle school level. I would build a process where teachers participate in solving school issues and give them the opportunity to lead and be innovative."

Emphasize STEM

"I would like to see STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum increased and emphasized. As an employee of the Museum of Flight I've seen the impact STEM education has on individual students. The further development of a rigorous STEM curriculum is important if we hope to continue to compete in a global marketplace."

Fiscal responsibility

"With the challenges of school funding we need to use our resources efficiently. I pledge to be diligent and steadfast in controlling expenses and being fiscally accountable."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.


Influence of Great Seattle Schools PAC

Great Seattle Schools PAC attracted $100,405 in donations through mid-October 2013. The PAC ran a TV ad before the August 6 primary that portrayed Suzanne Dale Estey as a reformer and Sue Peters as a supporter of existing board policies.[5] A report by KUOW found that land developer Matt Griffin donated $30,500 of total donations with smaller amounts from former Microsoft executive Christopher Larson and businessman Nick Hanauer. The PAC's fundraising totals are not limited by the $1,800 per cycle ceiling on direct contributions to candidates approved by the Washington State Legislature in 2012.[6]

Increased enrollment

The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors confront strained resources and legal cases stemming from past abuses of students. The district experienced a 9.5% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012.[7] This enrollment increase coincides with declining money from the federal stimulus program as well as cuts to support services in recent budgets.[8] These issues played into disagreements between the district and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) over a new contract for teachers. On September 3, teachers voted to approve a two-year contract that increased pay by 2% and included test scores in teacher evaluations.[9]

Sexual abuse lawsuits

Another area of concern for the district is a series of lawsuits brought by six former and current students seeking damages totaling $29 million. These damages are related to instances of sexual abuse by former teacher Phil McGee as well as an incident where a student was convicted of sexual assault against another student.[10]

About the district

See also: Seattle Public Schools, Washington
Seattle Public Schools is located in King County, Washington
Seattle Public Schools is located in the City of Seattle in King County, Washington. The population of Seattle was 608,660 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[11]


Seattle outperforms state averages for higher education achievement and median income while lagging behind in poverty levels. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (55.8%) exceeds the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Seattle's median income at $61,856 while the state median income was $58,890. Seattle had a poverty rate of 13.2% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.[11]

Racial Demographics, 2012[11]
Race Battle Ground (%) Washington (%)
White 69.5 77.3
Black or African American 7.9 3.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 13.8 7.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.6
Two or More Races 5.1 4.7
Hispanic or Latino 6.6 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[12]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 68.7 28.3
2008 70.0 28.0
2004 65.0 33.7
2000 60.0 34.4

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[13]

Recent news

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