June 15, 1998
In memory of Julian Karp, past superintendent of Northshore School District
Due to his request that no memorial be held, those who appreciated the late Julian Karp missed an opportunity to remember his many contributions to our community as superintendent of Northshore schools from 1954-1974. Those were years when the school superintendent handled his own relations with the media, when the school super was recognizable on the street or at Pop Keeney Stadium. In the early days of his administration he had the choice assignment of presiding over the merger of the rival Bothell and Woodinville school districts.
I remember Julian for three important contributions. First, he had the foresight to see the coming rapid growth in this area and the severe economic pressures confronting districts on the verge of becoming suburban. He prodded his Board and the taxpayers into approving capital expenditure levies to purchase school sites far in advance of the population explosion. This resulted in more than adequate facilities when they were most needed. As a result, work in the classrooms didn't suffer. Second, Julian had the courage to instigate a lawsuit impacting all corners of this state which forced county assessors to adopt uniform property tax equalization practices. This put an end to the state's heavily-populated, growing regions disproportionately supporting the state's kindergarten through high school educational costs. Third, he insisted Woodinville would become the cultural center of the Northshore area. I admit the jury may still be out on item number three.
I couldn't help but think that Julian felt under-appreciated in his later years. So, I just couldn't let the opportunity pass to share these remembrances of a good friend and an outstanding community servant. If ever there were an appropriate scholarship to be established by this community, it certainly should be in memory of Julian Karp in recognition of his importance to the quality of the Northshore secondary education program we have today.
John B. Hughes, Grace