After extensive screening and interviews, WSSDA hired Marissa Rathbone to succeed Jessica Vavrus as the leader of WSSDA’s legislative advocacy efforts.
Rathbone’s career spans fifteen years and consists of experience as a classroom educator and a state education leader managing programs and personnel, engaging stakeholders, facilitating workgroups, designing and delivering professional learning, and informing policy development and implementation.
Her most recent position was director of operations for learning and teaching at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). One of Rathbone’s many responsibilities in that role was participating in OSPI’s cross-agency government relations team. She played a significant role in efforts around key pieces of legislation.
“Marissa’s understanding of the legislative process, experience with legislators, firsthand knowledge of the K-12 system, and exemplary professionalism will serve WSSDA well,” said WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow.
Rathbone began her career as a health educator in the Colorado Springs School District. From there, she took up a variety of managerial and director roles at public agencies in Oklahoma and Texas before landing at OSPI in 2013. Her work at WSSDA will be full-time starting August 1st.
“I am thrilled to be joining WSSDA as the director of government relations. My life’s work has been in service to the academic success and personal well-being of students through a variety of roles, including educator, advocate, non-profit board member, and state government leader. It will be an honor to extend that service to school board members across the state.”