Know of anyone interested in vying for an open school board seat in November?

Photo of Olympia School Board members during a regular board meetingLearn about the role of a school board director and get information about the three board seats open in the November 2017 General Election during a community meeting on Wednesday, March 8.

People interested in vying for a seat on the school board, as well as those who want to learn more about the role, are encouraged to attend the meeting. The event is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia.

Superintendent Dick Cvitanich will share opening remarks, followed by guest speaker Tim Garchow, executive director of the Washington State School Directors Association.

Garchow will explain about the role and responsibilities of a school board member. His presentation will be followed by remarks from two veteran Olympia School Board directors: Eileen Thomson, who serves as board president this year, and Vice President Frank Wilson.

There will be three Olympia School Board director seats on the November 7, 2017 election ballot:

  • Director District #3, currently held by Eileen Thomson; 4-year term.
  • Director District #4, currently held by Justin Montermini. He was re-elected to the seat in November 2015; however, he has since moved outside of director district #4 but lives within the school district. The person elected to this seat will serve the remaining two years of the term.
  • Director District #5, currently held by Mark Campeau; 4-year term.

People interested in vying for a seat on the board may mail, drop off in person, or submit their application online to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division.

The Elections Division will begin accepting candidate filings by mail on May 1, and they must arrive at the elections office no later than May 19. Candidates may also fill out and submit an application online during candidate filing week May 15-19.

For more information about filing for an open seat on the school board, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division website.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old, reside in the district for which they are filing and be a registered voter at the time of filing. There are some judicial exceptions; for more information, contact Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division at (360) 786-5408.

A primary election will be held on August 1, 2017, followed by a general election on November 7.

Maps of the district’s five director districts will be on display during the March 8 community meeting. Copies of the maps, including an interactive map in which community members can type in their address to find their director district, are also available on the school district website.

See interactive director map

Superintendent search update: job announcement posted

Image of Northwest Leadership Associates position announcement for OSD Superintendent.

Click to open full position announcement

Northwest Leadership Associates, the consulting firm assisting the Olympia School District in its search for a new superintendent, has posted an online job announcement for individuals interested in applying for the leadership position. Dates have also been set for daylong interviews with finalists, including an opportunity for community input.

The deadline to apply for the Olympia School District superintendent position is March 7, 2017. The individual selected will replace Dick Cvitanich, who retires effective June 30, 2017.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the online superintendent search survey and attended the series of 18 staff, student and community focus groups to gather input on qualities and characteristics desired in the next superintendent. Input was used to help develop the job announcement.

Next opportunity for staff input

The school board is expected to review job applicants and select finalists by mid-March. Finalists will be invited to tour the district and meet with employees, students, community members and the school board.

The district has set aside March 20-23 for the daylong finalist interviews; however, the schedule could change depending on the number of finalists selected by the Olympia School Board.

Each finalist will visit the district for an entire day and will meet with various groups at the same time each day.

District employees are invited to meet candidates between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. March 20-23 at Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E., Olympia. 

See the online position announcement

Read the latest issue of the district’s Spotlight on Success newsletter


See the latest issue of the district’s Spotlight on Success newsletter. In this edition, Madison Elementary students show appreciation with ‘Valentines for Veterans’, Learn All About Kindergarten Day is a whopping success, Jefferson Middle School students become playwrights/performers/set designers, construction on “Mini-Buildings” is underway, and much more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter

Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about making healthy choices to lower the risk of developing heart disease.

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To lower your risk and help prevent heart disease, follow these tips:

  • Watch your weight. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week.
  • Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. Talk to your doctor for support and help to quit.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure by eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber and limiting salt.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation as alcohol can raise blood pressure.
  • Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.

Test your knowledge of heart disease by taking this quiz:

Interested in learning more? Check out this heart healthy website for more information:

Thank you school counselors!

National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, is celebrated this week throughout the country.

The recognition highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

Thank you OSD counseling staff!

Educator Night Out February 16

Educator Night Out flier with date and time

Click to enlarge image

Educators are invited to the annual Educator Night Out at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia.

The free event will be held on Thursday, February 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the museum, 414 Jefferson St. N.E., Olympia.

Learn about a new “Makers Investigations” field trip option, as well as a “Hands On 2U & Dr. Science Assembly” for schools.

Admission is free for a teacher and one guest with school ID. To register, call 360-956-0818 ext. 103 or email

Nominations open for district Teacher of the Year

The Olympia School District is accepting nominations for one or more staff members to be honored as OSD Teacher of the Year.

The program recognizes the work of teachers who have made a positive difference in their profession. Any Washington public school teacher who has a current certificate and works directly with students for at least 50 percent of his/her time is eligible to be nominated.

Please complete this online nomination form and submit by 4 pm. on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

A committee will review the applications and select the individual(s) to be recognized. The individual(s) chosen will be eligible to compete for the regional Teacher of the Year selection process. The winner at that level advances to the state Teacher of the Year selection process.

Fill out and submit the online nomination form by February 15, 2017

Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about the benefits of educators making healthy eating choices.

Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Teaching is a mentally complex and challenging job. In the course of a school day, a teacher makes hundreds of decisions and responds quickly to the myriad of unexpected events that life in the classroom may take. If you are a teacher, you have a high-energy job, therefore it’s essential to prime yourself with the right fuel.

But in the busy life of a teacher, who has time to think about healthy eating?Unfortunately, the less we think about what we eat, the worse our diets can get. We don’t want to fall into the trap of defaulting to snacking on “convenience foods” that may be high in sugar and saturated fats and low in nutrients needed to sustain energy levels.

Consider your nutrition to reduce your potential for low energy throughout the school day:

  1. Don’t forget to feed your brain! The brain consumes calories, too, about 600 per day on average. Food choices that support cardiovascular health are also good for the brain and may increase cognitive function.
  2. Reduce the consumption of foods with added sugar, which includes many prepared foods and snacks.
  3. Here is a good reference to check out: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  4. Seeds, nuts, olive oil and avocados are ready sources of monounsaturated fats, while fish such as salmon and albacore tuna contain polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids which help support brain function. Fats increase the feeling of satiety and help to keep hunger pangs at bay.
  5. Instead of relying heavily on red and processed meats, you can add more healthy sources of protein by planning meals to include seafood, poultry, eggs and legumes like beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Start the day off with healthy choices

Instead of processed cereals, consider nutrient-dense foods like a veggie loaded omelet with a cup of coffee or tea to provide fuel to keep the brain firing all the way to lunch. Then when recharging at lunch time, consider a palm-sized portion of protein such as chicken or fish, along with a colorful salad topped with an olive oil-based dressing. This can keep you going strong all day. Don’t forget you may need snacks to carry you over, so reach for that fresh fruit or nuts to help level your blood sugar and keep you feeling energized.

Staff invited to free workshop February 22

All staff districtwide are invited to attend a free workshop on February 22 on “The Impact of Hearing Loss on School-Age Children.”

The Impact of Hearing Loss on School-Age Children

Knox Administrative Center 
Wednesday, February 22: 4-6 PM

This workshop will cover numerous aspects regarding the education for a deaf and hard-of-hearing child.  Audiology, appropriate accommodations, social/emotional support, American Sign Language, speech and English language support, curriculum and assessment will be discussed.  There will be several presenters, each with many years experience with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.  Come and bring any questions you may have.