When school board members become storytellers

During the summer, while many students and teachers take a well-deserved break from the classroom, school directors throughout Washington state write stories about the accomplishments and positive impact they make in their district and community.  

WSSDA’s annual Boards of Distinction program allows school boards across the state to self-reflect on the goals and strategic planning they committed to in the previous school year. The program’s application asks boards to describe a professional activity they completed, the effect it had on their team, and how they bridged an opportunity gap in their district as supported by documented evidence.

The final question of the application reflects the Washington School Boards Standards, a guide that not only influenced the development of the Boards of Distinction program, but most importantly, helps board members become successful throughout their term. Applicants will choose one of the three selected standards and explain how they practiced it. 

The COVID-19 pandemic inspired WSSDA to specifically pick these three standards for 2020:

  • Promoting healthy relationships by communicating supportively; inspiring, motivating and empowering others; and positively exercising influence.
  • Providing for learning essentials, including rigorous curriculum, technology and high-quality facilities.
  • Collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

The judges for the Boards of Distinction program are current and former educational service district superintendents, State Board of Education board members, former school directors, and other public education leaders in Washington state. They are responsible for reviewing the applications and deciding which districts have shown that they’ve earned the honor.

Just prior to WSSDA’s Annual Conference, successful applicants will receive recognition as a Board of Distinction. Then, during the conference within the categories of small, medium and large school districts, teams that demonstrated exemplary actions and outcomes will be crowned Board of the Year.

Learn more at wssda.org/bod.