Q&A with Graeme Sackrison

  • Graeme with the Washington Secretary of State School Board Spotlight - Graeme Sackrison

    By Community Relations Intern: Clara Hall (Timberline c/o 2020)

    Graeme Sackrison has a long history with North Thurston Public Schools and the City of Lacey. He moved to the area with his family in 1956 and first attended Lacey Grade School, since replaced by a Safeway. He then attended North Thurston High School, which at the time included grades 7-12 and was a member of the track and swimming teams. Following graduation in 1962, he attended Centralia Community College for two years before transferring to Western Washington State College, graduating with a degree in economics and business in 1966.

    After college graduation, he spent four years in the United States Air Force. Upon discharge, he worked for the Employment Security Department spending the majority of his career as the legislative liaison for the department before retiring in 1998.

    In the community, Graeme spent 13 years on the Lacey City Council, including three two-year terms as Mayor. During that time, he worked collaboratively with North Thurston Public Schools on a variety of projects.

    Q: How do you feel that what you do has an impact on the community?

    “Our future as a community is guided, in part, by the quality of our children’s education. What we will be is dependent upon them. They will be the business owners, the workers, the public servants, and our political leadership.”

    Q: What are some of the things you do as a school board member?

    “I attend or participate in school events. I represent  the district in social and charitable settings. I answer questions from others.”

    Q: What are some of your most memorable experiences from being a part of the School Board?

    “Recently, I attended a Unified Basketball event. The Unified teams are comprised of those with disabilities and those without. It’s amazing to watch the interaction. The challenged students have an opportunity for fun and friendship. The more abled get an opportunity to have a broader understanding of our culture.”

    Graeme speaking at a recent meeting Q: What’s the toughest part about being a school board member?

    “The toughest part of being a school board member is the separation of our policymaking role and administrative actions. People often look to us to address issues at the detail level. Not what we’re charged to do.”

    Q: What are some things you have learned from being a part of the School Board?

    “I’ve learned to appreciate the size and complexity of district operation. After state employment, we’re the largest employer in the county. We have a larger bus fleet than the local transit company. We prepare about ten thousand meals a day.”

    Q: How has being a member of the School Board helped you learn and grow as a person?

    “Being on the school board has taught me to not expect simple answers to complex problems.”