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Business After Hours to honor Linda Byrnes
ARLINGTON No wine will be served at the next Business After Hours, since its purpose is to honor the retiring superintendent of Arlington schools, Linda M. Byrnes, and students are expected to attend.
We are thinking maybe 250 people might show up, said Bonnie George, manager of Skagit State Bank, co-host of the event from 5:30 to
7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24.
A project of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce, Business After Hours provides an opportunity for chamber members and friends to network and socialize. The monthly events are hosted by chamber members at their places of business.
To be held at the bank at 20313 77th Ave. NE in Arlington, the event is co-hosted by the Arlington Education Foundation.
They are providing the hors douvres and we are providing the beverages, George said.
A former president of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Kay Duskin, who is now president of the Arlington School Board, said that she and fellow members of the AED decided that at Business After Hours would be a good way to enable the community to honor Byrnes, who was named Superintendent of the Year for the state of Washington just a few days after she announced her retirement.
We decided that a Business After Hours would be a good way for the business community to congratulate Linda personally, Duskin said.
Byrnes will represent Washington state at the National Superintendent of the Year Award Program at the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education in Tampa, Fla. in February. Thats when the National Superintendent of the Year will be announced and recognized along with four finalists.
Byrnes came to Arlington 12 years ago promising to pass a bond for a new high school. She lead the effort to pass the bond and leveraged it into seven new facilities.
Linda worked tirelessly to pass our first capital bond in decades and five years later we realized that Linda had leveraged our $54 million bond into nearly $100 million of improvements, Duskin said.
Byrnes was also instrumental in guiding the Arts Alive! committee to complete the performing arts center at the high school.
A former student representative to the Arlington School District Board of Directors, Ally Acker said that she was inspired by Byrnes.
I consider Linda Byrnes to be one of the most encouraging and positive role models I have ever met, Acker said.
Duskin said she put some thought into the best place to have the event and decided Skagit State Bank would be good.
Kay Duskin and Marcia Smothers came to me with the proposal and I was very happy to be the host, George said. (Smothers was manager of the bank before George.)
Byrnes will be joined by her family members at the shindig and all the community is invited.
Admission is free by an RSVP is requested to the chamber office at 360-659-5453.