Nelsen Middle School Counselor Killed In Seattle Accident

Jim Graham was well-loved by students and staff at Nelsen and Benson Hill schools; a celebration of life service is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m

The family of counselor Jim Graham has scheduled a celebration of life service for Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living, 5801 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle. Graham died last week after being struck by a car in Seattle.

A longtime counselor, Graham recently began working full time at Nelsen Middle School. He started working for the school district in 1990 and was well-loved by students and staff at Nelsen, Benson Hill and throughout the district.

He worked well with students and families, offering care, professional insight, and support on many issues. He was a wonderful member of the Renton School District family and will be missed, according to a Renton School District email went to Nelsen Middle School families.

Graham was quoted in a Parent Map magazine article in March 2010 about Making Mistakes Part of Life Learning. He advised parents and teachers to raise "the veil of competence" and model examples of mistakes and solutions. "Don't just tell kids it's OK to make mistakes, but explain that adults themselves go through these experiences," Graham explains. "Kids need to understand that parents aren't perfect. Share with your child the time you sent the wrong report to a client. Tell them how you felt about the mistake you made and how you handled it."

The following is his obiturary as listed at Legacy.com:

James Peter Graham passed away in Seattle, Washington on April 14, 2012. A man of many talents and deep commitment to friends, family and the youth with whom he worked, he will be missed by the greater Seattle educational community and the many who were privileged to know his vitality, insight, intelligence and humor. Raised by John and Barbara Graham, Jim attended schools in Napa, California before college at Seattle Pacific University, where he majored in education.

After a short stint as an elementary school teacher in California, Jim returned to school at the University of Washington to earn a Masters degree in education, with dual certification as a counselor and school psychologist.

Jim worked as a school counselor for the Renton School District since 1990, and had begun a play therapy practice for children in the Seattle area. Jim's unique gift for understanding the experience of children made him a counselor of great empathy.

Jim was a lover of literature, sports and movies and reveled how the narratives in those pastimes informed and enriched our everyday experience. To his many friends, Jim had an uncanny ability to sense and respond to deep needs and yet embody the abundance of each moment with his indomitable fun-loving spirit and keen (and sometimes searing) sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.

Jim is survived by his wife Carmen Quall (Seattle) step-son Gus (Seattle), step-mother Mignon (Napa, CA), brother Robert (Arizona). He is preceded in death by his parents.

The family suggests that memorial gifts be directed to Westminster Woods Conference Center in Occidental, CA or the San Juans Preservational Trust. Please send all condolence correspondence to 7334 51st Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115.


Tammiy Perin February 11, 2013 at 05:41 AM
Thank you for the service that you gave both my children when they attended Benson hill elementary..and as a Co-worker at Benson hill..I have mad respect for you. RIP..MR.GRAHAM...you will be missed but never forgotten. somberly and sincerly , Mrs. Perin...mother of Raymond Henick and Kaytlyn Perin alumni Of Benson hill Elementary


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