2020 Boards of Distinction Announced

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) is glad to announce the recognition of 25 school boards as Boards of Distinction for 2020. On Nov.19, during its Annual Conference, WSSDA will announce an additional three districts, one from each size category, as Boards of the Year.

In a year of shifting instructional models and daunting health and safety challenges, this year’s Boards of Distinction application asked school directors to illustrate how their actions helped their school districts close opportunity gaps. To be awarded, boards had to show a clear link between their leadership in applying the Washington School Board Standards and closing gaps that impact student success.

“The judges were very impressed,” said WSSDA Director of Leadership Development Tricia Lubach. “Not only by the emphasis each of the boards placed on ensuring equity and access for their students, but also that they did so in unique ways that were tailored to their specific communities.”

And speaking of judges, WSSDA extends its appreciation to the ten judges who read and scored the applications this year. “Our education partners at the State Board of Education and the Educational Service Districts were generous, once again, with their time and guidance in selecting the boards that were honored,” said Lubach.

Award Recipients

Small Districts


Medium Districts

Mount Vernon
Walla Walla
West Valley (Yakima)

Large Districts

Clover Park
Evergreen (Clark County)
Federal Way

What is the Boards of Distinction program?

The Boards of Distinction program is designed to encourage boards to examine their practices as governing bodies and how their actions and decisions impact the success of students. National research on the Washington School Board Standards shows a correlation between board actions and student outcomes. Those recognized as Boards of Distinction have reviewed their decision-making and shown how that is tied to positive student outcomes.

How were awards determined?

A panel of 10 judges spent approximately six to eight hours each, not only reviewing applications but also working together with WSSDA staff to calibrate with each other on how applications are evaluated. Judges from across the state included former and current Educational Service District superintendents, State Board of Education board members, former school directors, and others who are involved in education leadership on a statewide level.

Learn more about the Boards of Distinction program at wssda.org/bod. Materials submitted by the applicants will be posted on the program’s webpage in November.