As the Tacoma Weekly went to press this week, news was traveling throughout the city concerning Tuesday’s announcement that mayoral candidate Victoria Woodards had falsified her education credentials. In a press release sent out Tuesday by Pierce College professor Tom McCarthy and former Metro Parks board member Jerry Thorpe, the two wrote that Woodards claimed an associate’s degree from Pierce College on her 2004 application for a seat on the Metro Parks board, and that she claimed a bachelor of science degree in marketing and public relations in the 2005 voters guide for this same seat.
Tacoma Weekly reached out to Woodards, and here is her response:
“Education is important to me and I am proud to have spent much of my career supporting education programs and helping students to further their education, as CEO of the Tacoma Urban League, as an early supporter of the Foundation for Tacoma Students and co-chair of the 2006 Tacoma Schools levy campaign.
“It has come to my attention that some have questions regarding my educational background. Let me clarify: When I applied for the Metro Parks Commissioner appointment in the early spring of 2004, over 13 years ago, I believed that the combination of my course work at City University and Pierce College yielded my associates degree. I later discovered that this was not the case. In 2005, when I completed my statement for the voters’ pamphlet, I was taking courses on nights and weekends at City University and fully planned to complete my degree the following summer, in June of 2006. In hindsight, I should have included additional language that made this near-term goal clearer, like “candidate for” or “in pursuit of” in addition to including the future date of June 2006. Unfortunately, due to life circumstances I did not complete the course work and do not claim to have a degree. These are the facts. It was not my intention to mislead anyone regarding my education credentials and I’m glad to answer any additional questions.
“I’ve served our country and the Tacoma community for over 30 years with distinction. Voters know who I am and where I stand on the issues.
“Tacoma deserves a collaborative leader who can implement solutions to our toughest challenges – from affordable housing, to job creations here at home, to homelessness and improving our road and transit service. I look forward to continuing the debate about who is best prepared to move our city forward. I’m ready to lead on day one.”