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Stephan Blanford

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Stephan Blanford
Stephan Blanford.jpg
Seattle Public Schools, District 5
Term ends
November 2017
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sAntioch University, Seattle
Master'sUniversity of Washington
ProfessionBusiness owner
Campaign website
Stephan Blanford campaign logo
Stephan Blanford represents District 5 on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors in Washington. He was first elected to the board in 2013.


Blanford was born in Denver, Colorado and traveled throughout the United States due to his family's military service. He earned a B.A. in Social Justice from Antioch University, Seattle. Blanford later received a Master's of Public Administration and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington. He is the owner of Lighthouse Consulting, a firm that provides educational research and leadership courses for educators. Blanford and his wife, Janet, have one child who attends a school in the district.[1]



See also: Seattle Public Schools elections (2013)


Blanford faced LaCrese Green on November 5, 2013.

Election results

General election
Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, General election, District 5, Four-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStephan Blanford 88.8% 144,320
     Nonpartisan LaCrese Green 10.6% 17,286
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.5% 852
Total Votes 162,458
Source: King County Elections, "Certified Results," November 25, 2013

Blanford finished first in the District 5 primary on August 6, 2013. He faced fellow challenger LaCrese Green in the November 5, 2013 general election.[2]

Seattle Board of Directors, Primary, District 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStephan Blanford 79.3% 8,574
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLaCrese Green 13.1% 1,415
     Nonpartisan Olu Thomas 7.6% 827
Total Votes 10,816
Source: King County Elections, "August 6, 2013 primary election results," August 20, 2013


Blanford reported $37,375.32 in contributions and $25,877.97 in expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which left his campaign with $11,497.35 on hand.[3]


Blanford's website listed the following endorsements for the 2013 campaign:[4]

  • Kay Smith-Blum
  • Olu Thomas
  • 34th District Democrats
  • 37th District Democrats
  • 43rd District Democrats
  • The Seattle Times
  • The Stranger

Campaign themes


Blanford's campaign website features an explanation of his rationale for running for office:[5]

"As a scholar of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington, I have researched nearly 100 K-12 schools throughout our city, state and the nation, studying innovative approaches to education reform . I wrote a dissertation on schools and school districts which have significantly reduced achievement and opportunity gaps while simultaneously raising achievement for all students – I believe that these schools can serve as a model for schools in our district which have historically struggled to fulfill these dual missions. And in my professional life, I’ve shared what I’ve learned, helping teachers, principals and administrators improve instruction in their schools through my small business, Lighthouse Consulting."

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

What was at stake?

Incumbent Betty Patu sought re-election without opposition in District 7. Districts 4 and 5 have new members as incumbents Michael DeBell and Kay Smith-Blum did not file for re-election. Both districts held primaries on August 6, 2013 with the top two candidates in each district moving to the general election that was held on November 5, 2013.


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.[6] This enrollment increase coincides with declining money from the federal stimulus program as well as cuts to support services in recent budgets.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]


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%.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2012[10]
Race Seattle (%) 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[11]
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: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[12] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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