Congratulations Carolyn Poage: Regional Classified School Employee of the Year!

Regional Classified School Employee of the Year Carolyn Poage poses with Olympia HIgh Principal Matt Grant after she was surprised last fall at being named an OSD Classified School Employee of the YearOlympia High School Head Custodian Carolyn Poage has been named the Capital Region Educational Service District (ESD) 113 Classified School Employee of the Year.

Earlier this year, Poage learned she was one of three Olympia School District Classified School Employees of the Year. She received a standing ovation and congratulations from colleagues during an Olympia School Board meeting.

As a regional winner, Poage is in the running for state Classified School Employee of the Year. The state winner will be named later this spring.

Poage will be honored next month at a regional school superintendents’ meeting, participate in a reception at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and be recognized at a reception for exceptional educators held at the Governor’s mansion.

She has worked in the Olympia School District since 2003. In those 14 years, she has been a substitute custodian, a swing custodian, and a head custodian.

Congratulations Carolyn, we are so proud of you!

Hansen Elementary classroom mini-building dedication is March 22

Hansen Elementary classroom mini building outdoor photoThe newly constructed two-story Hansen Elementary classroom mini-building will open its doors to students on March 19 and be the site of a dedication ceremony on Thursday, March 22.

The community is welcome to join Hansen Elementary students and staff, Superintendent Patrick Murphy, school board members, district staff, and the architect and contractor in a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22.

Guests are welcome to enjoy cake and walk through the new classroom building following the ribbon cutting.

Hansen Elementary is the second of five two-story classroom mini-buildings to open its doors. Construction continues on the Roosevelt, McLane and Centennial elementary school mini-buildings, approved by voters as part of the 2016 school bond. Pioneer Elementary School’s mini-building opened in January.

Each of the mini-buildings has eight classrooms, a music room, a commons/general classroom space for multiple uses, small learning areas between classrooms for small-group teaching and learning, a musical instrument storage area, and an administrative office and storage area. Each building also has a covered walkway connecting it to the main school building at each site, an elevator, two sets of stairs, and restrooms on each floor.

Exterior finishes and colors are designed to coordinate with the main one-story school buildings on the same campus.

School board honors National Board Certified Teachers

New NBCT and those who have renewed certification pose as a group with the school board at the March 12 board meeting.Congratulations to seven new Olympia School District National Board Certified Teachers, as well as to six educators who renewed their certification this year.

The Olympia School Board honored those who have passed this rigorous national certification, considered one of the highest honors in the teaching profession, during the March 12 school board meeting. Family, friends and colleagues filled the board room for the special recognition.

This year’s new National Board Certified Teachers are Hallie Houge and Heather Murphy of Olympia High School; Ericka Boysen of Jefferson Middle School; Aaron Schofield, Julie Woods and Danelle Wright of Washington Middle School; and Anita Roedell of Centennial Elementary School.

Educators who have renewed their national board certification include Patricia Arbuckle and Kathleen Gillespie-Atkinson of Hansen Elementary School; Michael Deakins of Capital High School; Paul Rae of Olympia High School; Dorothy Espedal-Johnson of McKenny Elementary School; and Keith Holder of Jefferson Middle School.

Join 2018 state Teacher of the Year for educators workshop March 21 in Olympia

2018 Mandy Manning State Teacher of the Year linksAre you a teacher? Do you ever wonder how best to reach out to and involve families whose children are learning English? Are you curious about engaging students from diverse cultures in the most respectful and effective manner?

Join 2018 Washington State Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning for a “Powerful Strategies for Newcomers” interactive two-hour workshop on Wednesday, March 21.  The workshop will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Knox Administrative Center Board Room, 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia.

RSVP to:

During this workshop, educators will learn strategies for involving newcomers’ families in their ELL education, strengthening ties between schools and the communities they serve, and culturally responsive classroom practices that work for everyone.  To learn more about Mandy and her work, see the flier adjacent to this blog post. If you have questions about the workshop, please email OSD educator Jana Dean at

Tickets available for OSD night at the Tacoma Rainiers on May 31

Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club Logo, featuring Mt. Rainier and a baseball for the O in TacomaTickets are available for the annual Olympia School District Night at the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday, May 31.

The Rainiers will take on the Salt Lake Bees beginning at 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

All students, families, teachers, staff and the Olympia School District community are invited to join us for this fun-filled district event. Invite your friends and neighbors and show support for the Rainiers and our school community.

Last year we had more than 150 district attendees. Let’s surpass that this year with a great turnout! Be on time to watch Superintendent Patrick Murphy throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Tickets are available by visiting and entering the promo code OSD. Group Express tickets are $13 and include a reserved seat ticket and ballpark meal (hot dog, chips & bottled water). Double Play tickets are $19 and include Group Express items plus a limited edition Rainiers hat.

Hope to see you there!

Staff invited to take 2018-19 budget priorities survey

Image of a sign with the words SURVEY and a check box next to the wordsAs preparation for the upcoming school year, the Superintendent and Board of Directors seek input from parents, students, staff and the community on the Olympia School District 2018-19 school year budget.

This survey has three parts:

  1. A series of forced choice questions (by forcing respondents to choose between two valuable investments, a natural ranking emerges)
  2. An open-ended narrative section; what does each respondent value about our school district and what efficiencies do you suggest?
  3. A tool to capture how you would spend an extra 1% in resources.

You may participate in all parts, or only one or two.

Take the survey now!

Read the latest issue of OSD Spotlight on Success newsletter

Spotlight on Success logo, which features the OSD logo and the words Spotlight on Success with a spotlight image replacing the O in SpotlightSee the latest issue of the district’s Spotlight on Success newsletter. In this issue, a Jefferson Middle School student and teacher work together to open doors to possibility, the district announces this year’s Teachers of the Year, a Jeanette’s Joy ‘The Richard & Jeanette Levesque Memorial Music Fund’ is established, a Capital High teacher is named DECA Adviser of the Year, and much more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter