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Hatch retires from Marysville school board

Marysville School District Board member Sherri Crenshaw, left, and Board President Michael Kundu, right, applaud retiring fellow Board member Don Hatch Jr. as he raises his hands in appreciation Dec. 7. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville School District Board member Sherri Crenshaw, left, and Board President Michael Kundu, right, applaud retiring fellow Board member Don Hatch Jr. as he raises his hands in appreciation Dec. 7.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Don Hatch Jr. marked the end of a historic career at the Marysville School District Dec. 7, but he and everyone who spoke on his behalf at the MSD Service Center that evening expressed confidence that he would remain an active voice and volunteer on behalf of the schools and the children of the Marysville and Tulalip communities.

Hatch, 70, has served on the MSD Board of Directors for 16 of the past 20 years, longer than any other Tulalip member in the 122-year history of the school district, and the MSD Board room was packed with his family members, friends, colleagues and other well-wishers during the Board's Dec. 7 meeting, which was Hatch's last as a Board member.

Although Hatch had decided not to seek re-election this fall, he expressed regret over leaving the district in the midst of its current financial difficulties, and leaving Chris Nation, his replacement on the Board, to try and shore up its fortunes.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is getting dimmer," said Hatch, who encouraged Board and community members alike to step up and speak out on behalf of the schools and the students. "All 11,000 of them were my children. Losing even one of them is too much. I wish we could have had this many people at all of our Board meetings," he said to the packed room, "because it's hard, as a Board member, to make these decisions by yourself."

Hatch's fellow Board members praised him for his role in their decisions. Darci Becker noted that he'd answered many of her questions, and she and Cindy Erickson, who lauded Hatch for his wisdom, credited him with giving them the confidence to speak their feelings and vote their beliefs. Sherri Crenshaw and Michael Kundu agreed with Becker and Erickson that Hatch was honest and outspoken, and pledged to carry on those parts of his legacy. Nation thanked Hatch for welcoming him into his new role and promised to donate blood for him, as he'd pledged to do on the campaign trail if he won.

Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, who attends church at the St. Anne's Mission Parish on the Tulalip reservation with Hatch, proclaimed Dec. 7 a day in Hatch's honor, in recognition of his contributions to Marysville and Tulalip youths through both the school district and the Boys and Girls Clubs. MSD Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland and Assistant Superintendent Gail Miller likewise presented Hatch with a certificate of appreciation and a blanket, the latter in the Native American custom.

Log onto The Marysville Globe Web site Dec. 9 for more on this story, including quotes from Hatch's family members, friends and fellow Tribal members, as well as from Hatch himself.

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