Student Poet Gives Poignant Keynote on the Importance of Representation at LWPTSA Council Luncheon

Marcus Patton, 16, poet, LWPTSA Council 2024 Founders' Day Luncheon keynote speakerLake Washington PTSA Council was honored to welcome as our 2024 Founders’ Day Luncheon keynote speaker Marcus Patton, 16, spoken word and slam poet, of Kirkland, Wash. Marcus spoke to luncheon attendees on Feb. 23, 2024, at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.

Marcus opened his keynote address by delivering a moving poem entitled “Hopeful,” in keeping in the spirit of our 2023-24 PTA Reflections program theme, “I Am Hopeful Because …”

Following his poem, Marcus gave a powerful speech, “Fighting the Good Fight,” about the importance of recruiting and A teenager with glasses and dark curly hair stands behind a podium while speaking into a microphone and gesturing with his hand.retaining educators who look like and represent our diverse student body.

Speaking on his student experience over the years, Marcus recalled having had only one Black teacher, and called upon districts such as ours to recognize and honor the significance of representation—and to nurture and inspire students to pursue teaching careers to help enable this to become a reality.

His keynote received a standing ovation from our audience of nearly 200 guests.

Marcus is the first student to be featured as the keynote speaker at LWPTSA Council’s annual Founders’ Day celebration. Council extends our deepest gratitude to him for contributing his talent and time, and for making our event truly unforgettable.

“Poetry is an art form, in which we use our words
to paint on the world’s canvas.”

— Marcus Patton

Marcus Patton has performed his poetry at the Cascadia College Students of Color Conference and has been writing poetry for more than five years. He is currently a student at Juanita High School and Bellevue College.

Headshot courtesy of Marcus Patton. Event photograph courtesy of Muusa Liinpaa. All rights reserved.

View additional photos from the 2024 Founders’ Day Luncheon