A bright light has gone out in Edmonds and around the world with the passing of a beloved teacher, mother, sister, friend, filmmaker and media literacy advocate: Claire Douglas Beach.
Since 2001, Claire has taught thousands of students in the Seattle and Edmonds school districts as a technology media instructor. Her “superpower” reached out to the kids who were struggling the most and needed her mark of support. His legacy with these students continues and many have become dear friends.
Most importantly, she was an outspoken and fierce advocate for media literacy – a tool for students to understand how the media affects them – long before fake news and alternative facts became so prevalent. She despised the use of the media to deceive. Claire was a pioneer in this field; she began teaching media production and media literacy in 1984.
In 2016, she led efforts to pass legislation in Washington State that became the model for a bill that has been passed by five states and debated in many other state houses across the country. . And again in 2017, she led a team to advocate for a successful follow-on bill to provide credit, a big win for media literacy. Washington continues to be a leader in media literacy thanks to Claire’s advocacy.
Before that, her work as an award-winning filmmaker in Boston, Massachusetts, with the Women’s Video Collective and the Somerville Producers Group in the early 1980s revealed her frustration with corrupt politicians and her dedication to promoting a feminist worldview.
Her life was marked by a tireless spirit as she inspired those around her with unwavering love and support that brought out the best in all of us. As passionate as she is generous, she left her mark on her students as well as on her family, colleagues and friends.
Her battle with cancer has slowed her down a bit. When chemo led to hair loss, Claire got artist friends to paint and henna her head which she then used as a classroom teaching tool to openly discuss cancer. Claire often said, “Chemo heals my body; teaching heals my soul.
Claire holds a BA from Florida Atlantic University and an MA in Psychology from Goddard Cambridge.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas on January 24, 2951, Claire Douglas Beach is survived by her son, Jesse Douglas-Tesch, her sisters Elaine Douglas, Laura Douglas and Judi Cohen, her brother Don Douglas, her nieces Malina Douglas, Rowen Douglas Lochnicht and Kettyra. Ngunga, a nephew Cailen Douglas, a sister-in-law Peggy Douglas and a brother-in-law Norm Boshoff.
Claire found her home when she moved to the village of Edmonds. She loved the Edmonds community and was loved in return.
A celebration of Claire will be held at 10:30 a.m. on February 13 at the Edmonds Waterfront Center.
If you would like to share a memory or contribute to a memorial fund, visit https://everloved.com/life-of/claire-beach/. The Memorial Fund will help cover the costs of arrangements and the memorial service as well as support media education efforts.