First, I’d like to begin by extending my heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to have served as your Vice-President. The investment you have made in me is appreciated and has been a great experience. WSSDA’s mission, vision and goals are forward thinking and provide the conduit for professional development for our members in order to move towards excellent governance so that all students succeed. WSSDA’s advocacy will continue to be critical. We cannot be silent in proclaiming what we need to provide an education that is excellent and immersed in equity. As one of the largest employers in the state of Washington that manages budgets that require inordinate fiduciary responsibility, we serve over 1.1 million students, hire over 62,000 teachers and continue to make every effort to improve the learning for the 44% of the students that live in poverty. Juggling different needs at different levels with different goals can sometimes make for interesting meetings at all levels. At the same time, we need to envision our path as one that leads to the same goal that provides hope for all of our students. Read more...
In my role as your President-elect, I will continue the work that has been started on issues that are important to our members. Issues such as funding, equity for all our students across the state, the continuous improvement of services to our school directors, professional development of our members, being a voice and providing advocacy for our 1477 board directors across the state, ensure that we sit at the table with our partners in education so as to advance education policy, provide policy services to our members to ensure that we have safe, secure learning environments and be the “go to” organization for our members when the need arises for school district large and small, rural and non-rural, east and west.
Finally, education has always been my passion and, as I stated in my personal statement, it is now my career. I see the challenges at the grassroots, personal level. I experience the heartfelt concerns of parents as they navigate the pathways for their students’ academic success. According to Thomas Friedman in his book, Thank You for Being Late, he states that to “compete for middle-class jobs, which require more knowledge and education to perform successfully, you need more of the 3 R’s and more of the four C’s – creativity, collaboration, communication and coding.” As school board directors, this is the challenge before us.
As a school board member for over 20 years and legislative representative for over half of that time, I experienced first-hand the frustration as we pour over a budget that just quite doesn’t meet all our needs, desires and hopes for our community’s children. Serving on the Legislative Committee also has given me the opportunity to advocate for those legislative issues that are important to our members. In addition, serving on the WSSDA board as board member representing Director Area 7, has given me the opportunity to see the organization from the 30,000-foot level. I am also serving as a governor-appointed board member of the Professional Educator Standards Board. The challenges of meeting the needs of our local school districts so as to meet the teacher demands is/will be a major issue in our state. I strongly believe that public schools with local control are still our best public education option.
We have a lot of work ahead of us! WSSDA will need to provide the services necessary to garner the skills and knowledge essential so that our members are ready for the challenging work. I ask that you let me be part of that work and allow me to continue to serve you by electing me as your President-elect.