Olympia School Board named a ‘Board of Distinction’


dsc_0050The Olympia School Board has been named a “Board of Distinction” in Washington state.

Olympia is one of 24 school boards from among 295 school districts statewide selected to receive the recognition this year from the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA).

“Each of these boards demonstrates the excellent work done by Washington’s 295 school boards and 1,477 school board members,” said WSSDA President Chris Nation. “This program gives us a chance to acknowledge that commitment to their students and communities.”

The Olympia School Board will be recognized on November 17 during the annual WSSDA conference in Spokane. WSSDA will also announce the 2016 Board of the Year winner(s) during the recognition ceremony.

Olympia School Board members include President Mark Campeau, Vice President Eileen Thomson, and directors Justin Montermini, Joellen Wilhelm and Frank Wilson. In addition to the five elected board members, Olympia High School student Rachel Hodes serves as this year’s student representative to the board.

Superintendent Dick Cvitanich, who will join board members at the awards ceremony in Spokane, said, “I have worked as a superintendent for almost 11 years, and I have never worked with a board more closely connected to their schools. They know teachers by name and their programs, challenges and successes. Their work is both professional and personal. I am thrilled with this recognition they have received at the state level.”

Cvitanich continued, “I am proud of the recognition our board received because it is so well deserved. They never lose sight of trying to do what is best for our students and families. Even during challenging budget years, their focus remained on preserving classroom instruction. They are hard working, honest, respectful and know how to laugh. I can’t think of a better combination.”

Board President Campeau said, “I would like to thank WSSDA for honoring the Olympia School District Board of Directors as a Board of Distinction. I would also like to thank Superintendent Dick Cvitanich for his leadership and all district staff for their commitment to our students and community.”

The annual Board of Distinction program honors school boards that demonstrate effective use of the Washington School Board Standards. The standards, developed and adopted by WSSDA in 2009, promote research-based governance practices that lead to high levels of student and district achievement, and help close the opportunity gap.

Award applicants submitted essays and supportive evidence to demonstrate how they are putting the standards into practice. This year, applicants addressed the following:

  • Being accountable and open to public, and seeking divergent perspectives in its decision-making.
  • Adopting a collaboratively developed district plan focused on learning and achievement.
  • Employing and supporting quality teachers, administrators and other staff, and providing for professional development.

Applicants also discussed specific decisions their boards had made and evidence on how they were working to help close the opportunity gap.

An independent review panel reviewed all applications submitted.