- Phil Gore
Director of Leadership Development Services
- 800.562.8927 or 360.252.3020
The Boards of Distinction application period is closed. It will re-open for 2013 awards next summer. You may review the general process by reading through the materials on this page, or learn what the focus of the 2013 awards will be by opening the essay schedule at right.
Each year, the Washington State School Directors’ Association honors outstanding school boards that demonstrate understanding of their leadership role and follow through on their responsibilities, while showing concern for the educational excellence and equity for all students.
Why should you apply?
The Boards of Distinction application process offers your board an opportunity for growth and encourages you to:
Each board that applies and meets the established criteria will receive recognition.
- Discuss how your actions align with effective board governance practices.
- Document your focus on educational excellence and equity for all students.
- Identify how you create conditions for student and staff success.
- Share your commitment to continuous improvement and accountability.
A Board of the Year award may be given to one district, in each of the following enrollment size categories:
Board of the Year winners will receive a cash award and a feature story in WSSDA Direct, our monthly newsletter.
- Small (1–1000)
- Medium (1001–9000)
- Large (9001 and over)
About the application process
The written portion of the Boards of Distinction application is based on the principles of the five Washington School Board Standards. Each standard has a set of benchmarks to help identify the knowledge and skills that high performing boards demonstrate.
Each year the essay focuses on a different benchmark. This year’s application will be based on benchmark C of all five standards.
Provide responsible school district governance by…
Respecting and advocating mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of board members and the superintendent.
Set and communicate high expectations for student learning with clear goals and plans for meeting those expectations by…
Adopting a collaboratively developed district plan focused on learning and achievement outcomes for all students.
Create conditions district-wide for student and staff success by…
Providing for learning essentials, including rigorous curriculum, technology and high quality facilities.
Hold school district accountable for meeting student learning expectations by…
Measuring student academic progress and needs based on valid and reliable assessments.
Engage local community and represent the values and expectations they hold for their schools by…
Ensuring district information and decisions are communicated community-wide.
Applications are due no later than September 14, 2012 and must be completed as a collaborative effort of the board/superintendent team.
How to apply
Complete the application and narratives based on benchmark C for each standard and provide supporting evidence. We strongly encourage that you use bullet points in your narrative. Be sure to identify supporting documents by name within each essay (e.g., Appendix A).
Submit your completed application as a single Word file or PDF document to Connie Lauderdale at C.Lauderdale@wssda.org. For questions, please contact Connie at 360.252.3009. Applications must be received no later than September 14, 2012.
Please include the following items with your completed application:
- Supporting documentation for the narratives (no more than two pages each), ordered and titled in alignment with the text.
- Minutes from your three most recent board meetings that represents your board's focus and priorities.
To help you get started with your application, take a moment to review applications fom past award recipients, learn more about Washington School Board Standards, and read the descriptors we've provided for guidance in how to prepare evidence for your application.