Re: “A wake-up call for Seattle Schools” [Dec. 11, Opinion]:

My four offspring (now all 60-plus years of age) attended schools in different neighborhoods. I began as a fourth-grade teacher at Magnolia Elementary in 1962.

As the Seattle Public Schools board begins the search for a new superintendent, I would urge decision-makers and those with influence to “think outside the box.” Our Seattle School’s history includes a revered superintendent — John Stanford. Think of the qualities that made him successful. He was charismatic, committed to educating all children and communicated effectively, whether to corporate leaders or parents of students.

Stanford was not a professional educator. However, his résumé included training and supervising large groups in the military and in Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta.

The search group needs to be open to consider individuals from the military, private industry or with government experience.

Although there are wide varieties of complaints and criticisms about SPS, I feel at the same time that the SPS community has many valiant and committed educators and supportive groups who want a better future for all Seattle children.

We need a superintendent who can provide the leadership and harness the energy and talents that exist in Seattle.

Frank Jones, Seattle