About Michael

Experience within the Seattle School District

Michael with his family

Michael is a parent, community leader and businessman with many years of experience in Seattle Public Schools. He served as PTSA President for two years each at West Woodland Elementary, Whitman Middle School and Ballard High School. He was elected to the Seattle School Board in 2005 and served the next two years as Chairman of the Board’s Finance Committee. In 2007 he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Vice-President and in 2008 President of the Seattle School Board. Michael also serves on the International Education Advisory Board, which has helped develop Seattle’s bilingual immersion international schools.

Michael has represented the Seattle School Board in Olympia as Legislative Liaison for several years helping to focus attention on K-12 funding challenges and the need for education policy reform. He has also attended numerous state and national conventions of school directors to learn more about policy and school governance. Michael is a member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Education.

In his four years in office, Michael has visited every school in the District and spoken with community and PTSA groups across the city. He and his family have worked on school capital and operating levy campaigns to insure that Seattle Schools get the local funding they need.

Michael received the WSPTSA Golden Acorn award for outstanding service to Washington youth.

Community Involvement

Michael has been a youth soccer coach in Seattle Youth Soccer for 12 years working with boys and girls teams. He received Boys Coach of the Year Award from Woodland Soccer Club in 2002.

Michael belongs to numerous local organizations including the Phinney Neighborhood Association, the Ballard Foundation, the Cascade Land Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the World Affairs Council.

A long time environmentalist, Michael has developed an experimental tree farm and alternative energy home on Whidbey Island, which he and his family have made available for high school science classes. Ongoing field studies in ecology and sustainable energy systems occur on overnight field trips.

Business and Professional Experience

Michael has been Managing General Partner of Maverick Ventures, a family owned real estate investment business for over twenty years. He has successfully planned and managed short- and long-term investment strategies, leases and development projects. He and his wife also own a small development company called Birdwood, devoted to sustainable forestry. Michael taught Political Science and History at Humboldt State University prior to entering the family business.


  • 1979 - Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics, University of California at San Diego
  • 1982 - Masters of Social Science, California State University at Humboldt
  • 1982 to 1985 - Lecturer in Political Science and History at California State University at Humboldt
  • 1987 to 1990 - PhD Candidate and Fellow in Political Science at the University of Washington


Michael is married to Marie, who is a school nurse and current Vice President of the Seattle School Nurses Association. They have three children: Denny and Lyle — graduates of Seattle Public Schools — and Elle, a current SPS student.