Former state Rep. Randy Dorn, once a high school principal and now head of the second-largest public school workers’ union, is expected to announce this week that he’s running for the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
I’ve got a call into Dorn, who was very busy in Olympia this past session trying to get more money for the kitchen help, bus drivers and computer folks who work for public schools and colleges in Washington. We’ve been playing telephone tag for the past 5 or 6 days.
UPDATE: Dorn never called me back, but here’s the announcement on the union’s Web site.
Dorn has been executive director of the Public School Employees of Washington since December 1999. The union represents 26,000 K-12 and college employees, second to the 81,000-member Washington Education Assocation, which has the teachers and certificated workers in its ranks.
PSE is now affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, which makes it part of a pretty large group of public sector workers, and part of a rabble-rousing union. They’re even more militant than the WEA.
Dorn was a Democrat from Eatonville when he was in the Legislature. He got dumped in the 1994 Republican Revolution.
The OSPI race is getting pretty interesting. You have longtime incumbent Terry Bergeson, who is running for a fourth term. You have Rich Semler, superintendent of the Richland School District. And now Dorn.
The WEA is backing Semler. Presumably, the PSE will back Dorn. And since OSPI is a non-partisan office, the primary election has been a “Top Two” for a long time. In the past, Bergeson has garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election, so the race was decided then. That won’t happen this time. It probably will be Bergeson and either Dorn or Semler in the November general election.
Here’s part of the Dorn bio I got from the PSE:
Prior to (1999) he was a motivational speaker and traveled extensively lecturing on school to work programs. He has served as a Government Information Specialist for Educational Testing Service since 1997.
From 1995 to 1998 he was a consultant for the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Community College Board while serving as an administrator in the Pierce County Tech Prep Consortium. Randy served seven years in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994 where he was a key sponsor of the Education Reform Bill. He was chair of the K-12 house education committee and a member of the appropriations committee for six years. In 1993 the Governor appointed him a member of the Subcommittee on Labor for Job Retention and he also served on the Governors Council on School to Work Transition. In the years preceding, he was a high school principal for ten years and prior to that a high school and elementary teacher.
The sponsor of numerous proposals designed to strengthen Washington’s job training and educational programs, Randy was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by both the Washington Vocational Education Association and the Pierce County Vocational Administrators. Other awards include the President’s Award from the Association of Washington State School Principals and the Golden Gavel from the Washington Association of School Administrators. He was also the recipient of the National Service Award from the American Vocational Association on two occasions.
Superintendent Credentials, Washington State University, 1985
M. A. Education Pacific Lutheran University, 1980
B. A. Education, University of Idaho, 1975