Michael Sander concludes his term of service as President of the ArtsEd Washington board this month. As the incoming board President and someone who has had the distinct pleasure of working alongside and learning from Mike, I wanted to share a few words of thanks and hopefully give you all a tiny taste of why Mike is such a rockstar to me and to ArtsEd Washington.
I met Mike in 2008, when I was welcomed into the Bethel School District as a Dance Specialist in one of their elementary schools. Then in 2010, I had the opportunity to work even more closely with Mike when I took a position in the education department at Tacoma Arts Live (Broadway Center). In this work, we were colleagues in blazing a new trail in arts education by developing a program that utilizes the arts as the vehicle for social emotional learning, years before SEL became the hot topic that it is today. Really since that point, Mike has been a mentor to me. From modeling a complete and utter dedication to students and the arts, to orienting me to the Kennedy Center’s national partnerships network and recommending me to their advisory board, to recruiting me to the ArtsEd Washington board and reminding me how delicious a good dirty martini can be, Mike has been a leader in so many ways.
Mike thank you for your years of service to ArtsEd on the board, as president, as a social media powerhouse, and as an advocate! Your joyful leadership is an inspiration, and as the immediate past president, know that I will be leaning on you for guidance in my new role and a good martini as soon as we can get together. Cheers to you Mike, and your incredible service to our statewide arts education community!