Community Leader Janet Jones Preston recently retired from Seattle Public Schools after serving 30 years,
2 months, first as a Classroom Instructional Assistant, then as one of the first ten Family Support Workers (FSW), followed by many years as Program Supervisor and finishing her district career as Interim Program Manager and the last original FSW to leave the program. Janet is a Washington State Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education recipient. One of her proudest accomplishments is the founding of the Kasoa, Ghana “Peoples School for Positive Education” that opened its doors in 2006 and has expanded to serve 260 K-9 students. Janet earned her B.A. in English Literature and Minority Studies from the University of Washington. Janet would be the first to tell you how proud she is to be a mother, a grandmother and a foster mother. Janet serves her community through her membership in Mt. Zion Church in Seattle and the African American Leadership Forum, support of Grandparents as Parents, advocacy for the Foster Parents Association of Washington State and as sponsor and advocate for the Black Prisoner’s Caucus at Monroe Reformatory.
Kim Krummeck is a Seattle native and graduated from Garfield High School, the University of Washington, and Seattle University. He is a Vietnam era veteran having served in the U.S. Navy in Adak, Alaska. He volunteers with the Garfield Golden Grads and the Garfield High School Centennial Celebration Committee and is an avid cyclist. He has known Bill North and other members of the committee since high school and joined the committee to honor Bill’s mother and her amazing legacy. Kim retired from the practice of law in the areas of veteran’s benefits, Social Security appeals, worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits after twenty-two years. He was a member of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association, National Organization of Veterans Advocates, and Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. District Court for Western Washington. He was an active volunteer with the Seattle based Unemployment Law Project and The Veterans Pro Bono Program.
Laurel Winston-Smith is a Seattle native who truly believes that the key to a gratifying life is helping, teaching and serving others. She is currently owner and facilitator for Turning Point Vision Board Workshops, where she incorporates career counseling, coaching business owners, public speaking training and workshop facilitation. Connecting with the community is always essential for Laurel. After attending a Frances B. North Legacy Initiative fundraiser in the summer of 2018, she joined in the commitment of honoring this woman of many accomplishments. As a member of the Steering Committee she chaired the Fashion Design Expo in the spring of 2019, helps publish the bi-monthly newsletter, and coordinates the efforts of the contract employees. As a former classmate of Bill North, Laurel is eager to help meet the organizations’ goals and objectives.
Pastor Joe Carter
Pastor Joe Carter and Bill North (son of Mrs. Frances B. North) became friends when they were in the seventh grade at Washington Junior High School in Seattle. The two young men spent a lot of time together, and Mrs. North was like a mother to Joe. For more than fifty years she supported his dreams, encouraged his choices, and provided sound advice. Joe loved her dearly and knew he could always count on her. She gently inspired Joe to live up to his own expectations and to be "somebody!” Professionally, Joe spent 34 years as a Construction Manager Inspector with the City of Seattle. Prior to retiring, he was responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure of city roadways, bridges, storm drains, sidewalks and landscaping. Joe is also the ordained minister at a Rainier Valley church, Eternity Ministries. For more than 17 years his ministry has been sharing the Gospel, supporting a food program, providing men and women’s Bible study groups, reaching out to youth, and working with other pastors to support the community.
Stepping up to coordinate the efforts of the Frances B. North Legacy Initiative gives Joe a great deal of pleasure. By managing the Steering Committee, coordinating the group’s activities and using his community connections to share the goals and objectives of the organization, he knows that he is honoring a woman that graciously helped shape his life.
Molly P. Matter
Molly P. Matter is a human rights and voting rights attorney, solo proprietor of Amend Law LLC, and Chair of the Civil Rights Law Section of the WSBA. Molly met Frances in 2005 while community organizing in the Seattle Public Schools to undo institutionalized racism. They became fast and dear friends, both committed to liberation. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Molly “married” her ex-wife in 2008, prior to the legalization of gay marriage. Although Molly’s own grandmother did not attend, Frances North - at age 89 - drove her white Cadillac to Orcas Island to attend the wedding. Molly assisted Frances during the last stage of her life (taking her to church and to her last hair & nails appointment) and envisioned the Frances B. North Legacy Initiative with Bill North upon her passing. Molly has been a liaison between the Initiative and Kay Bullitt, a longtime friend of Frances North. Molly Matter’s work on the Initiative is focused on the historical archive, including a biography for Blackpast.org, and working with CAYA on a public monument.
Patricia A. Childress
Patricia A. Childress moved to Seattle from St. Louis, Missouri when she was just a toddler. She grew up in the Central Area where she attended Leschi Elementary School and Washington Junior High School. After graduating from Garfield High School, she worked in health care while she raised her family. In 1989, Pat returned to her native St. Louis, where she and had a twenty-three-year career with St. Louis College and with AARP. In 2012, Pat returned to Seattle when she retired. She met Sandra Montes and the two women became good friends. Sandra’s mother, Mrs. Frances B. North, also became a friend and a role model.
Pat admired Mrs. North and valued her community-oriented tenets and beliefs. When the Frances B. North Legacy Initiative was established in 2017, Pat was one of the first to step forward and join as a supporter. Because Mrs. North had such an impressive presence, Pat wanted to learn more about this iconic woman, and she wanted to help carry on the North legacy. Pat supports the Steering Committee by being an unfaltering advocate. Her tireless efforts are a great contribution to the group as she consistently assists in fundraising efforts.