Suzanne Dale Estey

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Suzanne Dale Estey
Suzanne Dale Estey.jpg
Former candidate for
Seattle Public Schools, District 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sWhitman College
Master'sUniversity of Washington
ProfessionEconomic consultant
Campaign website
Suzanne Dale Estey campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Suzanne Dale Estey was a candidate in District 4 of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors in Washington. She was defeated by fellow challenger Sue Peters on November 5, 2013. Estey campaigned to increase resources for a growing district and engaging the local community in public education.


Estey grew up in Seattle and both parents were teachers in the Seattle Public Schools system. She earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Politics from Whitman College. Estey later received a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Washington. Her professional experience includes stints as Vice President of Government and Industry Relations with Washington Mutual and Economic Development Director for the City of Renton. Estey is currently a Principal with Dale Estey Partnerships, Strategy & Results.[1]



See also: Seattle Public Schools elections (2013)


Estey faced challenger Sue Peters on November 5, 2013.

Election results

General election

Estey was defeated by Sue Peters 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

Estey was the leading candidate in the August 6, 2013 primary for District 4. She faced Sue Peters in the November 5, 2013 general election.[2]

Seattle Public schools 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


Estey reported $148,225.14 in contributions and $146,706.56 in expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which left her campaign with $1,518.58 on hand.[3]


Estey's endorsements in 2013 included the following:[4]

  • Municipal League of King County
  • The Seattle Times
  • Aerospace Machinists Union
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine
  • King County Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett
  • State Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray

Campaign themes


Estey's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for the 2013 election:[5]

Focus on students

"The 70% plus Seattle voters who renewed the operating and capital levies this year have it right: we need to invest in our kids, their teachers, classrooms, and the facilities that support them. It’s time for the District to act upon this overwhelming mandate and adopt policies that reflect the needs of different regions of our city—putting kids first. From overcrowding in the Northeast and West Seattle to achievement and opportunity gaps in other parts of the district, we need to start with a foundation of what is best for the kids we serve."

Education quality and funding

"We need to continue to improve and deliver the high quality, world-class education that every one of the nearly 50,000 students in the District needs and deserves. We must continue to strengthen our schools, especially where student outcomes remain unacceptably low, and drive for higher academic outcomes. While we need to continue to strive for the highest levels of efficiency, transparency and responsibility with existing investments in public education, there is simply not enough funding for basic needs at each of our schools and in each of our classrooms."

Community engagement

"Successful education for every child requires engagement and accountability by the entire community – families, teachers, staff, school and District leadership. Even those without kids in school play a role, as taxpayers who support the schools and neighbors who care about quality local schools and the kids in their community. Until we unite our district around shared community values, we will continue to lose ground—and fail the kids who depend upon us."

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 is seeking re-election without opposition in District 7. Districts 4 and 5 will 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 on November 5, 2013.


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 Estey as a reformer and Peters as a supporter of existing board policies.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] This enrollment increase coincides with declining money from the federal stimulus program as well as cuts to support services in recent budgets.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]


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%.[12]

Racial Demographics, 2012[12]
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[13]
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 rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[14][15]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Suzanne + Estey + Seattle + Schools"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Suzanne Dale Estey News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Suzanne for Seattle Schools, "About Suzanne," accessed August 2, 2013
  2. King County Elections, "August 2013 Primary Election Results," accessed August 7, 2013
  3. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Local Candidates," accessed December 17, 2013
  4. Suzanne for Seattle Schools, "Endorsements," accessed August 2, 2013
  5. Suzanne for Seattle Schools, "Commitments," accessed August 2, 2013
  6. Seattle Times, " Independent group enters school board campaign with negative ad," August 1, 2013
  7. KUOW, "Could A Wealthy Few Decide Seattle's School Board Races?," October 18, 2013
  8. Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Student Enrollment Cohort Projections, 2012," accessed August 2, 2013
  9. Seattle Public Schools, "Budget Office, Current and Past Budgets," accessed August 2, 2013
  10. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, "Teachers ratify contract, Seattle Public Schools start new year Wednesday," September 3, 2013
  11. KUOW, "Seattle School District Faces $29 Million In Sex Abuse Liability," July 22, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Seattle," accessed August 1, 2013
  13. King County Elections, "Election Archive," accessed August 1, 2013
  14. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  15. 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. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.