Leadership Development Specialist Position Available at WSSDA

WSSDA is looking for somebody passionate about fostering leadership and driving positive developments in public education. They need to thrive in a collaborative environment and relish the opportunity to use their skills to benefit our locally elected school boards. In fact, school board experience is an excellent background for the position.

About the Position

As a leadership development specialist, this person will play a pivotal role in supporting the professional growth of school directors and board-superintendent teams across Washington state. Responsibilities will include instructional design, curriculum development, and resource creation to enhance board governance and leadership practices. Working closely with the director of leadership development and other team members, they will contribute to the design and delivery of training programs, workshops, and other professional development initiatives.

Why Work at WSSDA

Working for WSSDA is more than just a job – it provides an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students and communities across Washington state by supporting the leaders elected to govern school districts. Here are some reasons to consider joining the team:

  • Impact: This role supports the professional growth of school leaders who oversee the education of over 1.1 million students statewide.
  • Dedication to Public Education: WSSDA is committed to the value of public education and strives to create a more equitable and inclusive education system.
  • Culture of Respect: WSSDA values diversity, equity, and kindness in the workplace culture, fostering positive relationships and mutual support among team members.
  • Benefits and Perks: As a Washington state employee, you will enjoy competitive compensation, paid leave, health insurance options, and access to retirement programs.

How to Apply

If you know somebody who shares WSSDA’s passion for public education and believes in the power of visionary leadership, please encourage them to apply for the leadership development specialist position at WSSDA. WSSDA welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences and is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace for all.

Prosser School District to Host In-Person Board Boot Camp February 24

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) will offer Board Boot Camp in Prosser on February 24.

Board Boot Camp is foundational for any school board member. Participants will hear from trainers with extensive school board experience as they cover many of the basics of board service. There will also be time for connecting with new board members from around the region while exploring scenarios directors are likely to encounter during their time on the school board.

Whether newly elected or veterans looking for a refresher, all school directors are welcome. In fact, superintendents and veteran school directors are encouraged to attend with their new board members for the best experience.

For more information and to register, visit WSSDA’s training calendar.

WSSDA offers First Learning Experience of the Year for School Directors on Jan. 16

Register for Deciphering District Budgets, taking place virtually on January 16 from 5:30-8pm. For starters, school directors will get to know the structure and basic terminology used in the district budget, become familiar with the five funds used in district accounting, and learn about the system used to code district revenue and expenditures. See the full course description.

Celebrating School Board Recognition Month: Honoring one of the Cornerstones of Public Education

As January unfolds, it brings a special occasion that deserves our recognition and gratitude—School Board Recognition Month. This dedicated month is an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of school boards and their members who play a crucial role in ensuring the health and vitality of their local school system. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge their commitment, dedication, and the contributions they make to ensure the success of our youth.

By the community, for the community, of the community

School boards are composed of any combination of local residents interested in ensuring the quality of their public schools. Selected by their community, school boards are one of the cornerstones of public education. Their responsibilities range from adopting critical policies and procedures to hiring a superintendent and overseeing budgets, all with the goal of creating an environment where students and staff can thrive. And remember, school board members often balance demanding professional careers, family responsibilities, and other commitments while fulfilling their roles as educational leaders.

Some Important Functions of School Boards

  1. Educational Excellence: Striving for educational excellence is at the core of every school board’s mission. They support high standards, monitor the progress of initiatives led by the superintendent, and work collaboratively in conjunction with administrators, teachers, families, and civic and community-based organizations to adopt curriculum and create an environment that fosters learning and achievement.
  2. Policy Adoption: School boards are responsible for developing and adopting policies that guide the school district’s operations in conformity with state and federal law. These policies touch on various aspects, including but not limited to curriculum, student conduct, and superintendent evaluations.
  3. Budget Oversight: Managing budgets is a challenging task, especially in the face of ever-evolving educational needs and the complex patchwork of funding sources, each with its own unique requirements. School boards work diligently to allocate resources efficiently and equitably, ensuring that funds are directed toward initiatives that directly benefit students.
  4. Community Advocacy: School boards serve as a bridge between the community and the school system. They listen to the concerns of parents, students, and community members, advocating for policies and practices that reflect the needs and values of the community.
  5. Legislative Advocacy: Being that bridge between the community and the school district, board members gain insight that is valuable to share with lawmakers as they grapple with how to equip the public education system to provide a variety of positive outcomes for our youth.

School Board Recognition Month is a time to acknowledge the essential role that school board members play. As elected officials, they’re vital participants in the civic process in which we all collaborate to give our youth a sturdy educational foundation for the rest of their lives. 

Our board members’ dedication, passion, and commitment to helping prepare students for our best guess at what the future holds deserve our appreciation. Take a moment to recognize and celebrate the contributions of school boards. Doing so will honor their hard work and inspire others to get involved in supporting the continued growth and success of our communities.

WSSDA Announces the 2023 School Boards of the Year

The Washington State School Directors’ Association has recognized the La Conner, Kelso, and Sumner-Bonney Lake School Boards as the 2023 Boards of the Year.

Drawn from among 34 boards that were already recognized as Boards of Distinction, these three boards are specially recognized within their respective size categories of small, medium, and large school districts.

This top honor recognizes a board that has shown significant vision and leadership that clearly resulted in positive and measurable student success. All three boards demonstrated creativity and resourcefulness within their roles to support the success of their students and staff while serving their communities. Also, each board significantly narrowed or closed opportunity gaps among students.

La Conner: Small District Board of the Year

The La Conner board, superintendent, and educators partnered to focus heavily on math acceleration last school year, which was the area with the largest opportunity gap for students. A combination of adopting a new math curriculum and assessment tool, monthly reviews of math data by the board, and investment in teacher support paid off with significant growth in just one year. It also committed to the practices of Professional Learning Communities, Universal Design for Learning, and Mastery Based Learning. Let’s learn more about their journey.

Kelso: Medium District Board of the Year

Looking at where their district’s largest gaps were, the Kelso School Board focused on 100% graduation and finding stable housing for the 7% of their McKinney-Vento students experiencing homelessness, foster students, and unaccompanied youth. You’ll learn about their journey to partner with community partners to raise graduation rates and reduce the number of students with unstable housing.

Sumner-Bonney Lake: Large District Board of the Year

Providing internship and mentorship programs for students who were underrepresented in these programs was one of many ways the Sumner-Bonney Lake board sought to close gaps and provide equitable outcomes. A newly-created Teaching Academy drew a diverse group of students to consider pursuing teaching careers and provided an industry-recognized certification.

Learn more about the Boards of Distinction program.