Announcing the 2023 Boards of Distinction

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) is proud to announce the distinguished winners of the 2023 WSSDA Boards of Distinction program. This prestigious recognition celebrates school boards across the state that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to student success. In this year’s program, 34 school boards, including several first-time applicants, have been honored as 2023 WSSDA Boards of Distinction. 

These 34 school districts, representing a broad spectrum of size, ranging from a couple of hundred students to more than 30,000, all share a common commitment to ensuring student success. They have approached this goal through various strategies, including extensive strategic planning, data-driven analysis to understand student performance, and creating an environment conducive to the success of both students and staff.

“Each selected school board has shown a clear focus on assessing their students’ outcomes and exploring ways to enhance their leadership,” said WSSDA Director of Leadership Development Tricia Lubach. “As schools return to fully in-person instruction after a challenging couple of years, it is evident that these school boards have refocused their attention on closing opportunity gaps for students within their districts and committing to consistent communication with their communities.“ 

The Boards of Distinction program, initiated in 2009, aligns with the research-based Washington School Board Standards published in the same year. These standards guide school boards to focus on areas where they can make the most significant difference in supporting students, aligning with their community’s aspirations for its children, and effectively governing the school district. School boards seeking this honor must illustrate their implementation of a specific Washington school board standard and provide compelling evidence demonstrating a positive impact on closing opportunity gaps for their students.

A panel of reviewers, comprising members from the Washington State Board of Education and various Educational Service Districts across the state, meticulously evaluated the applications and selected those that exceeded the established criteria.

The grand finale of this celebration will culminate in the announcement of the three Boards of the Year at WSSDA’s 2023 Annual Conference, scheduled for November 18th. Selected from among the Boards of Distinction, the Boards of the Year will represent a small, medium, and large school district based on the number of students they serve. This prestigious honor will recognize the exceptional achievements of these school boards and the extraordinary leadership they have shown in driving the success of their students and their communities.

WSSDA is proud to applaud the commitment, dedication, and innovative approaches these Boards of Distinction demonstrate. Even the simple act of applying for the award shows they practiced self-reflection, analyzed data and other evidence, and held themselves accountable to specific goals. Every school board that works in that way may serve as a shining example of leadership in education, inspiring positive change and contributing to the betterment of the students and communities they serve.

The 2023 Boards of Distinction are:

Small District Category
  • Cascade School District
  • La Conner School District
  • Mabton School District
  • Meridian School District
  • Morton School District
  • Oakville School District
  • South Whidbey School District
Medium District Category
  • Anacortes School District
  • Arlington School District
  • Kelso School District
  • Mount Vernon School District
  • Peninsula School District
  • Pullman School District
  • Quincy School District
  • Riverview School District
  • Shelton School District
  • University Place School District
  • Walla Walla Public Schools 
  • Wapato School District
  • White River School District
Large District Category
  • Auburn School District 
  • Battle Ground School District
  • Bellevue School District
  • Edmonds School District
  • Everett School District
  • Federal Way School District
  • Issaquah School District
  • Lake Washington School District
  • North Thurston Public Schools
  • Northshore School District 
  • Pasco School District
  • Puyallup School District
  • Sumner-Bonney Lake School District
  • Tacoma School District