I am excited and honored to have you consider me for the office of president-elect. I believe our organization has much to offer the hard working school directors across our diverse and beautiful state. I have the experience and skills to ensure we continue to improve those offerings.
The voice of our membership needs to be loud, strong and inclusive. WSSDA’s representation of every elected school board director in the State of Washington is set in statute and needs to be recognized by those who affect education policy. Your communities elected you and entrusted you with the most important things they have; their children and the future.
This is not my vision. It is the WSSDA vision, set by you. I have seen enormous progress during my fifteen-year membership. Read more...
Relationships between WSSDA and all stakeholders have improved and more collaboration is happening at every level.
WSSDA must build on those successes and continue to involve, inform and support each and every school board director.
Three years on the WSSDA Board of Directors, including the Bylaw and Policy Review and Financial Subcommittees, five years on the Legislative Committee, two years on the Resolutions Committee, organizing and facilitating the Large District Caucus, graduation from Leadership WSSDA and many years as a member of the Federal Relations Network required me to think deeply and carefully about the needs and strengths of the organization and provided a clear understanding of how our committees and processes work to ensure the voices of all members have an opportunity to be heard.
My professional experience includes building very large industrial projects as a construction management team member and helping very small children build their conceptual knowledge as a preschool teacher and director. I have also worked in residential and commercial construction and tax preparation including experience as a small business owner.
The Bethel School District, where I have served, is a large, spread out district in unincorporated Pierce County. We educate 20,000 students and experience a growth in our student population each year. Like many of you, we struggle to pass bonds to house all of these young people. Our community also suffers from a lack of services within our district boundaries. This has led us to collaborate with many organizations to bring supports for our children and their families. We have celebrated many successes in my time on the board, but like each of your districts, we have faced significant challenges.
We couldn’t do this job for long without a passion for addressing the challenges that face education. We must continue our emphasis on equity for every single child. Across the nation, we are concerned with school safety. WSSDA must continue to explore the supports that can be offered to districts to address these concerns, including social and emotional learning and access to mental health learning and supports. We must offer our students opportunities for deep career and technical training. We must work to create systems that do not saddle our young people with unmanageable debt to gain the education they need to compete in the economy. While we work hard every day to address the issues facing our districts we must also keep an eye on the future and the challenges our students may soon face.
During my years in WSSDA, you have given me friendship, trust, understanding, encouragement, collaboration, knowledge and inspiration. I appreciate that gift, and each of you, more than you can imagine.