Irene Stewart just announced she won't run for reelection to the Seattle School Board. A news release just e-mailed says the first-termer is "choosing instead to advocate for public schools from the community." And just by chance, half an hour later, West Seattle businessman Steve Sundquist announced that he will run for her seat. In an accompanying statement, Stewart says: I have accomplished much of what I intended to achieve when I ran for the school board four years ago. At that time, there was little accountability for student, staff or administrative performance, no reserve fund, a bleak financial outlook, infrequent program evaluations, and little academic progress. Now, the district's financial management systems are sound. We have restored $26 million in reserve funds. Student performance data guides decision-making. School-based teams interview prospective principals. Program evaluations are underway. And, last night, the board unanimously approved a contract with a new superintendent, an educator and leader who will provide rigorous academic programs and services to meet the needs of Seattle students. I want to return to community advocacy for public education and generate resources for school programs, including arts education. I fully support our new superintendent, Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, and look forward to working with her when she starts in July. Under Dr. Goodloe-Johnson's leadership, I have confidence that Seattle Public Schools will go from good to great. Stewart represents West Seattle and South Park. Her day job is director of the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens. Sundquist, retired managing director of national accounts and former chief information officer for Russell Investment Group, says he's running because "parents and the public have increasingly lost confidence in the School Board and its leadership." Says his news release: After a successful 21+ year career at Russell, Sundquist retired in 2005. Today, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Climate Solutions, Washington's leading global warming research and advocacy organization. He is also Director of ONE/Northwest, a non-profit that helps environmental organizations influence critical decisions through the strategic use of IT-based tools and strategies for communicating and building relationships.