It?s official. Former Microsoftie Trish Dziko will start her first high-tech academy in Federal Way?not Seattle. Dziko, who runs the non-profit Technology Access Foundation (TAF) in South Seattle, will sign a joint operating agreement with the Federal Way School District on Wednesday. Her school-within-a-school is due to open next fall at Totem Middle School.
Dziko had first proposed launching a TAF Academy at Seattle?s Rainier Beach High School but faced overwhelming opposition from staffers and community members worried that existing students would be short-changed. Then it seemed like the African American Academy was going to play willing host but the district never gave Dziko a firm green light. Dziko told me recently that she was as puzzled as anyone why it didn?t work out. While she said she may come back to Seattle eventually to start another TAF Academy somewhere, her focus is now on Federal Way.