About Omar


Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for taking the time to inform yourselves about my campaign for equity and excellence in our schools. My name is Omar Vasquez. I am a Mexican-American, a son of an immigrant, and I would be the first Latino to ever serve on the Seattle School Board. I have over a decade experience in education as a teacher, a law student, and now a lawyer.

I am a former public school teacher. I taught high school math for six years, serving as a department chair for two of those years. I am now a business lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine, still doing the work of education, including serving last year on the Mayor’s Education Advisory Council. I’m running for the school board because I believe a public education is critical for equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets necessary for them to exercise self-determination, which for many students, means breaking into the middle-class. Although the public schools I went to growing up were not great, I was lucky to receive key interventions that paved the path for the life I lead today. Not all kids are so lucky.

As a result, I have committed my life's work to education. So when I was asked to run for this seat, I could not pass on the opportunity to contribute my teaching experience, my legal experience, and my finance experience to the district, its schools, educators, families, and students. I hope to have your support. Omar

Our kids deserve better.  We can give it to them.

I have over a decade of experience in public education and working with youth, particularly marginalized youth, low-income youth, and youth of color. For six years, I taught high school math – everything from Freshman Algebra to AP Calculus to IB Math.  I worked with students who came to my class many years behind grade level to not only get them caught up, but to get them to college.  For two years, I was the head of my department where I served a school of over two thousand students, and during my tenure as chair, I worked with teachers, families, administration, and other schools in the district to get more of our most vulnerable students into AP, IB and honors level courses.

And last year, I served on Mayor Ed Murray’s Education Advisory Council to propose student-centered solutions that the City could implement to address the achievement and opportunity gap.

I am proud to be the only candidate in my race with teaching experience.

Ultimately, the school board needs more than education experience.  Managing the district’s $1 billion revenue stream and negotiating key contracts requires a deep understanding of finance and the law.  As a business and tax lawyer, I have the skills to analyze financial statements and to navigate the complex regulatory framework that governs our schools.  

Our district has challenges, but we can tackle them together.  I need your support to realize our vision of Seattle Public Schools becoming an inspiration for the rest of the nation.



Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine (2014-present)

Mayor’s Education Advisory Council: Developed policy proposals with City Council members, educators, Seattle School Board directors, businesses, community-based organizations, and nonprofits to address the black-white academic achievement/opportunity gap in Seattle schools

Pro Bono Legal Work: 

  • Represent two youth immigrant refugees to secure lawful permanent residency in the U.S.
  • Advise education-related nonprofits
  • Volunteered at Sea-Tac Airport for legal consultation to travelers during Trump Muslim ban / travel ban
  • Provide business formation, tax, financing, contract, and nonprofit counsel to small businesses/startups at a microenterprise legal clinic


Board Service: 

  • Law College Association (UofA).  (current).  Develop policy proposals for increasing diversity in the law school/legal profession
  • Teach for America, Wash. Alumni Board.  (past).  Developed initiatives to support teachers in low-income communities and communities of color
  • Summit Public Schools Washington. (past).  Oversaw $10MM budget; developed policies, including for board governance and contract approval; addressed and resolved disputes raised by parents and students; tutored students 


Bar Associations:

  • American Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association (Diversity Committee)
  • Latino Bar Association of Washington
  • Washington State Bar Association


Law Student, University of Arizona (2011-2014) 

  • US Attorney’s Office, WA Western District (Seattle), Summer Law Clerk. Researched and wrote memoranda and motions on criminal and civil legal issues, including constitutionality of protective sweeps and searches
  • Latino Law Students Association.  Initiated partnerships with local high schools so students could attend Arizona Supreme Court hearings; instructed students on civil procedure and substantive legal issues
  • Charles Ares Fellow.  Prepared and delivered multiple sessions to large groups of law students on constitutional law, tort law, legal writing and analysis, and exams 


High School Teacher (2005-2011)
AP Calculus and Algebra, Phoenix Area (2005-2010)
International Baccalaureate (IB) Math, Tucson (2010-2011)  

  • Organized students to canvass for Obama in 2008
  • Built an AP Calculus program resulting in access to a high-quality AP Calculus curriculum for hundreds of students
  • Wrote IB Math curriculum resulting in alignment of content and IB assessments and resulting in stronger lesson plans for all IB Math faculty
  • Initiated algebra curriculum alignment among high school and its feeder middle schools, resulting in several sections of students entering Geometry as freshman (in the first year alone) for the first time in school history
  • Created and delivered professional development sessions for faculty
  • Assisted students with college applications / FAFSAs
  • Wrote recommendation letters for students applying to colleges
  • Coached mock trial team
  • Coached track and field
  • Tutored students after school multiple days per week


Undergrad Student, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton (2001-2005) 

  • Allocated $1.2MM budget to campus student activities as Chair of the Student Activities Council (SAC)
  • Coached debate at local high school
  • Taught federal rules of evidence and trial advocacy as President of Penn Mock Trial 


High School Student (1997-2001) 

  • Tutored/mentored/visited with autistic youth through a local autism nonprofit