FROM THE PRESIDENT: Building the future
2017 is in the rear view mirror. Once again we are well into another productive year! Looking back, we worked hard and moved forward in several areas.Legislatively, we witnessed changes at both the state and federal levels. As we navigate through these changes, we are still in unknown waters hoping things will smooth out, and at the end of the day, we will all have a few more dollars in our budgets to support much needed programs for our students.
As for the work we did within WSSDA, that’s where I can get excited! Your board of directors took a lot of time working collaboratively to bring a new Mission, Vision, Goals and Beliefs to Delegate Assembly for member approval. Updating those guiding elements of our association was something I felt was important to accomplish. We need to make sure the work of WSSDA yields relevant and meaningful tools and services so we can support you in serving your local districts.
Coming to agreement on these guideposts for our work gives us a more focused approach in our everyday effort. Students may only be in class for 180 days, but we work for them all year long. Our staff does an amazing job bringing our goals to fruition. They now have a clear view of where we want to go along with the pathway to get there.And speaking of staff, concurrent with restructuring our mission, vision and goals, we also completed a restructuring of our staff. I feel very good about how intentional we were with each decision. While redesigning job descriptions and departments to better serve today’s needs, we also considered what we might want to do next. Streamlining was a central theme of that work, and the outcome, as our executive director would say, “we’re a little leaner and a little meaner.”
Another part of our agency that will get a little leaner is the new WSSDA headquarters building! We are in the beginning stages of constructing a headquarters that will be about 25% smaller than the old building, but provide 75% more meeting space. With thoughtfully designed meeting space comes the opportunity to generate revenue. By renting out the space, the building will help pay for itself. We’ve paid off the old mortgage, and effectively saved money over the years to help fund this project. And those savings are not from member dues! Our savings are from revenue generated by the work of our amazing staff.
With a renewed mission, vision, goals, staff and headquarters, 2017 was pretty good for WSSDA! We’re well positioned to better serve our membership, and anyone else eager to join us in supporting public education.
WSSDA President, 2017