Executive Director

About Web Hutchins, Executive Director


A fourth-generation teacher, Hutchins recently retired after 30 wonderful years of teaching high school history, civics, and English in the Seattle Public Schools. He is now honoring the civic engagement imperative which he shared with his students over the decades by writing a non-fiction book arguing for the abolition of the archaic DNR (Department of Natural Resources) trust mandate, building on his prior op-eds on the topic for the Seattle Times and others.

In 2013, Hutchins received the Washington State Legislature’s Civic Educator of the Year Award for his long-term commitment to fusing politics and civics into his history and English classes.  He also fused civics into his coaching strategies for team building and sportsmanship during 11 years of coaching.  He was recently nominated by his former players and coaches to the US Lacrosse/WA Chapter Hall of Fame for his pioneering work integrating the sport of lacrosse by starting the first ever public high school lacrosse teams in Seattle at Nathan Hale High School in 1992 and at Franklin High School in 1997.

Hutch taught at Nathan Hale High School from 1990 to 1996 where he began teaching history and literature though a civics prism as part of Hale’s work with the Coalition for Essential Schools.

At Franklin High, from 1997 to 2011, Hutchins further developed his Civics for All curriculum, with its emphasis on political awareness for youth, while teaching in the John Stanford Public Service and Political Science Academy (PSA). He continued using his interdisciplinary Civics for All approach at other schools in the district before retiring.

While at Franklin, Hutch was a lead teacher in the PSA, a program which integrated rigorous academic content with service, current events, and politically active citizenship.  Franklin is a classic urban school of over 90% youth of color.  The centerpiece of the year was the “Olympia Project,” an annual legislative service-learning unit involving legislative bill advocacy work and lobbying trip to the capitol in Olympia.  A number of his Franklin students’ civics-based stories were incorporated into his featured EDWEEK Commentary essay  as well as op-eds he wrote lobbying for the Civics for  All Initiative in the Seattle Times and elsewhere.

In the summer of 2011, Hutch took an ABA supported seminar on the Supreme Court at Washington D.C’s Federal Judicial Center. The experience solidified his commitment to making the dream of Civics for All students in Seattle a reality. Since then, he has formally presented the Civics for All Initiative to, among many others:  the League of Women Voter’s state education board, the state social studies Leadership Council, King County Council, the PTSA, and the National Council of Social Studies Conference, among others.

Hutch has taught courses in World and American history, Government, World and Amer. Literature, African American Studies, ESL, and AP English Literature (see his 2008 Seattle Times column on AP and class size.) The infusion of Civics for All precepts and structures into all of these courses helped bring relevance and connectivity to the curricula so all students could succeed, including struggling learners.

Hutch is especially committed to inner-city youth education and African-American political struggles.  At the University of Wisconsin, black literature and history comprised a substantial portion of his bachelor’s work and the arc of this interest informs his professional work and personal life to this day.  Among other related projects, Hutchins was selected in 2010 as a Teacher Advisory board member for Quintard Taylor’s blackpast.org, which was originally based out of his work at UW – Seattle. 

A strong belief in the education of the whole child and his public service extends outside the classroom, including his Fishing Club trips where more than a few kids have caught their first wily salmon and steelhead on local rivers as well as his work in athletics.

His players and alumni have adopted the ethic of service to their team, their school, and their community– Franklin’s lacrosse team has been coached entirely by alumni since Hutch retired from coaching in 2002. Other highlights included: FHS c/o 2000 midfielder Lawrence Franklin’s Academic All-American honors (the first black Academic All American in WA state lacrosse history – Lawrence won a subsequent 4 year scholarship to Whittier College – B.S. Engineering) and seeing both teams win Team Sportsmanship Awards.

After getting his high-school diploma from West High School in Minneapolis in 1981, he earned a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1986, a Washington State Teaching Certificate from the University of Washington in 1990, and an M.Ed from the University of Washington in 1998.

Other articles and letters by Hutchins:

Hutch teaches students that “the pen is your sword” and has attempted to follow suit.

See “News” “Published Articles” on this website.

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