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Hatch's school board service honored by Marysville, Tulalip communities
MARYSVILLE — The Dec. 7 retirement of Don Hatch Jr. from the Marysville School District Board of Directors was marked with laughter, storytelling and praise for the man whom so many family members, friends, colleagues and community members agreed has been motivated to advocate for the children of the Marysville and Tulalip communities.
At the Board's regular Dec. 7 meeting in the MSD Service Center, Hatch's daughter, Nessie, played a video clip of his original swearing in to the Board, which inspired some good-natured teasing from MSD Board President Michael Kundu and Tulalip Tribes Board Chair Mel Sheldon Jr., both of whom noted Hatch's darker hair and the fact that he was wearing a suit.
"I never could have made time to do all that you've done," said Sheldon, noting that Hatch also served on the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors. "You love kids, all kids, and you want to see them succeed."
Like Sheldon, Tulalip Tribes Board Vice Chair Marie Zackuse thanked Hatch for his commitment to serving the needs of Native and non-Native children alike, while Tulalip Tribes Board Secretary Marlin Fryberg Jr. fondly recalled some of the more lighthearted moments he and Hatch shared on the Board.
"During one meeting, he said, 'I'll go to the bathroom, and you should follow me in five minutes,'" Fryberg said, before laughing, "Before they knew it, the Board had lost its quorum."
On a more serious note, Fryberg credited Hatch with inspiring him to volunteer, coach and get involved in law enforcement.
"He taught me that if you do it, others will get out there and do it too," Fryberg said. "You can go outside the reservation. You can teach the younger generations, because that's how we survive. That's what he did for the community."
Like Fryberg, Tulalip Tribal Board member Glen Gobin cited Hatch's mentorship as encouraging him to mentor others, while Mark Hatch, Don's godson, also entered into law enforcement because of his godfather. Like Gobin, Mark praised Don for his stability in "always being there, looking out for me all my life."
Kelli Johnson-Yalowicki, daughter of Darrington School District Superintendent Larry Johnson, read a letter to Hatch from her father, recalling the many hours they'd worked together on behalf of Marysville schools, as well as the support Hatch had shown Johnson.
"Everyone is important," Hatch said. "Every child is important. I've enjoyed every minute of my struggles here. I'm not scared of big challenges. Help these decision-makers make our kids successful. Just being here is medicine."