School board selects three superintendent finalists

The Olympia School Board has selected three finalists to be considered to serve as the district’s superintendent.

Directors voted during a special board meeting on March 14 to select the following finalists for the position of superintendent:

Greene HeadshotTrevor Greene, Executive Director of Human Resources, Highline Public Schools. Greene has been executive director of human resources for Highline Public Schools since 2015. Before that, he worked as an instructional leadership executive director in Highline, a principal professional development specialist (one-year fellowship) at the Association of Washington School Principals in Olympia, an executive director of personnel and human resources in Toppenish School District, a middle school and high school principal in Toppenish, and a middle school principal and high school assistant principal in the Highland School District. Greene’s teaching career includes working at both the middle and high school levels in Yakima.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish/English from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree in education and administrative certification from Central Washington University, and a superintendent’s credential from Washington State University.

Murphy HeadshotPatrick Murphy, Assistant Superintendent, Edmonds School District. Murphy has been assistant superintendent in the Edmonds School District since 2012. Prior to arriving in Edmonds, he served from 2008-2012 as the executive director of secondary education in the Issaquah School District. He has served as a middle school principal in Issaquah, a middle and high school assistant principal in Issaquah, and a junior high assistant principal in Bremerton. Murphy taught junior high school social studies in the South Kitsap School District and serves as an adjunct faculty member in educational leadership at Seattle University and Western Washington University.

He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in teaching from Whitworth University and a doctorate in education from Washington State University. Murphy earned his principal certification from University of Washington and superintendent certification from Washington State University.

Woods HeadshotChris Woods, Executive Director of Student Learning, Tumwater School District. Woods joined the Tumwater School District as Executive Director of Student Learning in 2015. Prior to working in Tumwater, Woods served as the principal at Capital High School, principal at Pioneer Elementary School and assistant principal at Reeves Middle School — all in the Olympia School District. Prior to serving as an administrator, Woods taught first and third grade, as well as middle school social studies and English Language Arts in the Olympia School District. He also served two years as athletic/activities director at Washington Middle School in Olympia.

Woods has a bachelor’s degree in K-8 elementary education and K-12 special education from Central Washington University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and principal certification from City University, and superintendent certification from Seattle Pacific University.

The board unanimously agreed on all three finalists, who will be invited for daylong district visits on March 20-22. The visits will include a tour of the school district and meetings with students, employees, union leaders, community members and the school board.

“I want to say how pleased we are with the outstanding pool of applicants for this top leadership post,” said Board President Eileen Thomson. “We are proud that so many talented individuals are interested in joining the district team and furthering our efforts to provide the best education possible for our nearly 10,000 students.”

District employees are invited to meet the finalists between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 20; Tuesday, March 21; and Wednesday, March 22. The meetings will be held at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E. in Olympia. Finalists are scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, March 20: Chris Woods
  • Tuesday, March 21: Trevor Greene
  • Wednesday, March 22: Patrick Murphy

The individual selected as Olympia’s next superintendent will replace Dick Cvitanich, who is retiring effective June 30, 2017.

Tech Tip: Be aware of Taxpayer Advocacy Panel scam

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, is the second in a series focusing on tax scams that become more rampant during tax season.

One of the more popular tax scams people are encountering this season is an evolution of the standard phishing (fraudulent/fake/impersonated email) scam. In this scam, people are receiving a spoofed (faked) email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, indicating information about a refund the targeted person is to receive. The email is designed to appear official, representing the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, putting the recipient at ease. The email then asks for personal and financial information to process the refund, often through following a supplied Internet link.

Do not click any links in this type of message.

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a real, volunteer group that advises the Internal Revenue Service. It would never contact you to request any personal or financial information. Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel does not have access to any of your personal or financial information.

If you receive an email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and suspect that it is a scam, report it by forwarding the email to

District Social Media: Archiving

Archive Social.jpgDo you maintain a professional social media account on behalf of the Olympia School District? Did you know that all district social media accounts need to be archived?

The district has contracted with a third-party archival company named ArchiveSocial to archive all content on district social media accounts. With ArchiveSocial, all records associated with district social media accounts can be easily reproduced and are accessible.

Below is the process to be followed for all district employees wishing to create a professional social media account/page, which represents the district, their school, school group, team, club or individuals within the schools or programs.

Social Media Account Creation & Archiving Process

  • Employee notifies building administrator or department head.
  • Employee contacts Communications & Community Relations Department for further instructions.
  • Communications Department shares relevant Policy 4007, Procedure 4007P, and Social Media Best Practices with employee.
  • Employee creates social media account(s) using their district email address.
  • Employee emails with the account type(s) (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube), name of the account, link to the account and email address associated with that account.
  • Communications Department sends a connection request via ArchiveSocial to add the account to the archive portal.
  • Employee receives email from ArchiveSocial and follows a few quick steps to connect the account.

If you already maintain a district social media account/page and are not signed up for archiving, please contact Communications & Community Relations at (360) 596-6103 or

‘A Day of Literacy’ event is big success

IMG_1149 (1) (1)Some of the district’s Teaching and Learning Department staff were recently invited to attend “A Day of Literacy” event hosted by Franklin Pierce School District and McGraw Hill. The event was led by English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core author Dr. Tim Shanahan, with topics including Teaching Reading with Complex Text and How to Raise Reading Achievement.

District staff were also invited to a quiet dinner with Dr. Shanahan. It was a wonderful day and evening of learning, and the invitation from Franklin Pierce School District was very much appreciated.

Website redesign survey feedback accepted through this Friday

The Olympia School District is in the process of redesigning our website. Our goal is to refresh our Web presence through improved and updated design and content structure so visitors can find information quickly and easily. We will also be improving accessibility and usability.

Please share your opinions about the redesign including what information you seek when visiting our sites and potential areas for growth. We are seeking feedback from our parents/guardians, students, staff and community members.

Thank you for your valuable time and feedback!

Fill our the survey HERE. They survey will remain open until close of business on Friday, March 17.

Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about National Poison Prevention Week.

National Poison Prevention Week March 19–25

Why should I worry about poisoning?

Daily people come into contact with chemicals, and other products both at home and at work. Many of these products can be poisonous. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a poison is anything that can harm you if it is:

  • used in the wrong way
  • used by the wrong person
  • used in the wrong amount

Most poisonings happen when it:

  • is swallowed
  • comes in contact with the skin
  • gets splashed in the eyes
  • is inhaled

According to the HRSA, poisoning is a leading public health problem that happens to people of any age, at any time and any place. Poisonings are more common than is recognized by most people.

Tips to Prevent Poisonings

  • Buy products that are non-toxic.
  • Keep cleaners, and other potentially poisonous items properly stored. Cleaners should not be stored in the classroom and should be kept in janitorial closets.
  • Be careful when using cleaners, and other items which may be poisonous. Don’t leave them unattended. Poisonings can happen very quickly.
  • Always keep products in the containers they came in.
  • Understand how to read a safety data sheet that comes with every product and chemical. This is part of the Olympia School District’s Hazard Communication Plan.

Raise Awareness About the Poison Help Line

According to the HRSA, you can help spread the word about the important, life-saving Poison Help line (1-800- 222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center. Having this number available by your phone can help you in a poison emergency.

Interested in learning more? Check out this Poison Control resource website for more information.