Bright Light award: Judy East

“Every community needs a Judy East,” her nominator told me. “She is the type of person that makes communities stronger, and helps the people in them become better at what they do.”

Judy East is a long-time volunteer in her school community, where she’s held many leadership positions. A busy mom of two children, East served as president of Audubon Elementary PTSA in Redmond. She went on to serve for five years on the board of the Lake Washington PTSA Council, supporting the work of 41 PTAs across the school district.

During her time as President of the Lake Washington PTSA Council, East oversaw many improvements to its work, with a particular focus on enhancing advocacy, communications and family engagement. The Washington State PTA recognized these efforts when it awarded the Council its “Outstanding PTA Award” for 2015-16. East was also active in her district’s recent successful school bond campaign, which will help build more schools to address overcrowding.

In her work, East has stressed the importance of family and community engagement as vital to the success of our schools. Over the years she has coordinated formal outreach efforts such as fairs or community nights, responded to specific concerns and questions with proactive solutions, and helped create an environment where, as her nominator put it, “all families and students feel welcome and valued.”

As the new director for Family and Community Engagement for the Washington State PTA, East shared her perspective about the importance of engaging families:

“The greater the personal connection a PTA has with their families, the more likely they will be able to meet their community’s needs. Taking time to get to know families and staff in their school communities will help a PTA understand the different perspectives present. I also believe each of us needs to be aware that there are many different perspectives. Every family has their own story and we need to be open to listening and understanding those stories if we want to be able to best support each family.”

In addition to her work in our schools, East also serves as a Community Health Advisor to Evergreen Hospital in Redmond, and was a long-time volunteer scorekeeper for Redmond West Little League. She continues to inspire others to step up and help make their schools and communities a better for place for all families. For these reasons, Judy East is a Smarter Government Washington Bright Light.
-Rob McKenna

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.