Larson leaves school board for municipal court

Dave Larson - File photo
Dave Larson
— image credit: File photo


The Federal Way School Board will lose one of its most influential members at the end of the month.

Dave Larson will leave his position as school board president and accept an appointment to Federal Way Municipal Court judge. He will replace Judge Colleen Hartl, who resigned in December.

Larson’s last school board meeting will be Feb. 26.

“On one hand, I’m happy because I’ve wanted to be a judge for quite some time, and on the other hand, I’m sad because I feel like we had quite some momentum,” Larson said about leaving the board. “But I feel like the momentum will continue. We’ve got a good board and the momentum will continue.”

Larson has served on the school board for nearly two years. He was appointed to the position in June 2006 and re-elected in November 2007. Recently, Larson was appointed school board president.

During his term, Larson initiated a successful lawsuit against the State of Washington for equitable funding. The state has appealed the case and the outcome awaits a decision. Larson also developed or amended many policies including those affecting civics, student conduct, parent engagement and homework. His legal background was an asset to the board.

“It’s a bittersweet moment,” Superintendent Tom Murphy said of Larson’s departure.

“I’m personally very happy for Dave. It’s a great opportunity for him and it will be great for the city,” Murphy said. “At the same time, it will be sad to lose such a thoughtful, positive, intelligent board member.”

School board member Suzanne Smith said the board will miss Larson.

“He truly cares about the students in our district,” Smith said. “You can not help but get excited for him for his new position as judge. It is something he has wanted for a long time and I am sure he will serve the citizens of Federal Way in the same way he has served the school district.”

The school board has 90 days to consider applications for the remaining board member position, although the board could make a decision sooner.

“We want to make sure to take our time and do it right,” said school board member Amye Bronson-Doherty, who added that Larson had recently served as somewhat of a positive role model for new members of the board.

“I know we’ll land on our feet,” Bronson-Doherty said. “Certainly the school board has gone through many changes over the years and the district keeps on chugging away.”

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

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