Retiring school spokesman was a steady voice for 20 years

Andy Muntz volunteered on many district committees before he was recruited to work for Mukilteo schools.

Andy Muntz

Andy Muntz

MUKILTEO — He was the dean of school communications officers in Snohomish County.

For 20 years, Andy Muntz was a steady voice in the growing Mukilteo School District.

During that time, there were unenviable tasks: explaining to reporters a former superintendent’s controversial $340,000 severance agreement, outlining the district’s position during acrimonious teacher contract talks and providing what information he could when the news was bad or sad.

When a student was arrested and eventually convicted for plotting a Columbine-like attack on his high school in 2018, it was up to Muntz to go on camera for a national broadcast.

“Every day is an adventure,” he would often say. “You never know what each day will bring.”

Friday was his last day in the office. Muntz, 66, begins his retirement today.

“Oh, how we will miss him after these 20 years,” said Judy Schwab, who has served on the Mukilteo School Board for even longer.

She said Muntz was well-informed in every aspect of schools from budgets to bargaining to student rights. And he could be relied on to deliver news of tragedy as he “had to do far too many times,” Schwab said. “His communication skills are superb, navigating the path between discretion, forthrightness and transparency.”

Long before he was the school district spokesman, he was a volunteer and a dad: a Little League coach, a Kamiak High School band booster and field trip chaperone, a leader of levy and bond committees and integral part of district strategic plans and a superintendent search. At the time, he also was manager of customer relations at the Snohomish County PUD, where he’d talk to reporters when the power went out and supervise the utility’s education program for local students.

In 1995, Muntz was given the school district’s Community Leaders Award.

Four years later, he was recruited away from the PUD.

In retirement, Muntz will have more time for hobbies he’s always enjoyed, including writing about unlimited hydroplane racing. He caught the hydro bug as a child growing up in Tacoma and later became the public relations director for Seafair. Over the years, he has written two books about hydroplane racing and he edits a monthly magazine on the sport.

Come fall, he will be back where he started with the district, serving as a volunteer on a committee that could some day recommend a school construction bond proposal.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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