Graduation dates and information

Photo of Avanti HS 2016 graduation capGraduation season is upon us! The following are a list of this year’s graduation dates, times and locations, as well as information about which ceremonies are open to all district employees to attend. Congratulations to the many staff around the district who have worked with students in the Class of 2018!

Wednesday, June 6

Olympia Regional Learning Academy, 6 p.m., Indian Summer Country Club.

Due to limited space at this venue, the ORLA graduation is not open to all district employees

Thursday, June 7

Avanti High School, 6 p.m., Knox Auditorium.

The auditorium has limited space, so if district staff are interested in attending, they should contact the Avanti HS office at (360) 596-7900 to inquire about tickets.

 Friday, June 8

Transition Academy, 7 p.m., Knox Auditorium.

This graduation is open to all district staff (no ticket needed for staff members with their OSD badge). Teachers and other staff who have worked with Transition Program students throughout their time in the district are encouraged to attend. Reception to follow in the board room.

 Wednesday, June 13

Olympia High School, 7 p.m., St. Martin’s Pavilion.

District employees interested in attending this graduation are welcome, on a space available basis, and need to RSVP to Wendy Rae at  if interested in attending. Employees who attend need to wear their OSD ID badge and tell the usher they are to sit in the faculty/staff section.

Thursday, June 14

Capital High School, 7 p.m., St. Martin’s Pavilion.

District employees interested in attending this graduation are welcome, on a space available basis, and need to RSVP to Suzanne Bowser at if interested in attending. Employees who attend need to wear their OSD ID badge and tell the usher they are to sit in the faculty/staff section.


Student representative Ainsley Austin honored at final school board meeting

Student board representative Ainsley Austin smiles after being presented with flowers at the final school board meeting of her tenure as student rep.Avanti High School student Ainsley Austin received flowers, heartfelt thanks and a standing ovation on May 21 during her final school board meeting as student representative on the Olympia School District Board of Directors.

Austin attended board meetings this past year, met with student leaders, and worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for our nearly 10,000 students.

Thank you, Ainsley, for all that you did this year!

Meet our new OSD Everyday Hero

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesThank you to all who continue to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Remember to give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here is our latest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Todd Thornton, Custodian, Roosevelt Elementary
“Todd, you are a rock star custodian! You keep our building clean, neat, and in excellent repair. Every day you come to work with a positive attitude. Whenever we need something, our requests are met with a smile and a timely response. While you already have more than enough work to do, you frequently go above and beyond your expected duties, often anticipating our needs and taking care of things before we even ask! You look out for everyone in the building, including students and staff. Our building has never looked so good, and the credit for that goes to you and your custodial staff. Thank you for working so hard for our school and doing such a great job. You are an important part of what makes Roosevelt such a great place to be.”
Submitted by Jean Schuna

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department ( a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

Memorial and celebration of life for Shannon Garrett set for June 9

Pink flowers against green leaves, likely blooming on an outdoor bushA memorial and celebration of life will be held by family and friends of former Capital High School health room assistant Shannon Garrett, who passed away on May 8, 2018 from an extended illness.

The remembrance will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 at the Woman’s Club of Olympia, 1002 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. There will be a potluck, and the family requests guests bring “a dish you know Mom loved or one you would love to share.”

The family also shares the following: “It will be a time to mourn, share memories, see old friends, heal ourselves and sing and celebrate the life of an incredible woman whose radiant love touched all of us deeply and changed each of our lives for the better. Come as you are in whatever attire, casual or dress, so you can just be the you she loved and cherished.”

Certificated Staff: Learn about new credit card memorandum of understanding

Man typing on laptop computerThe following is a message from the Business Office:

Shortly, certificated staff will see a new screen upon logging into Skyward.  This is an electronic form to replace a paper form that the auditor requires annually. The form is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for use of a district credit card via the Skyward online forms process. Once you fill out the form and electronically sign, this screen will disappear when you next login to Skyward.

Why is the district doing this?

In the 2015-16 Accountability Audit the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) found evidence that credit card procedures established by the district were not being followed. The findings included:  use of district credit cards on online shopping accounts (such as Amazon) personally registered to an employee and not linked to the district; personal charges being charged on the district credit cards; and cash or cash equivalent being purchased (gift cards & stamps) on district credit cards.

Response to Audit?

Following each audit, a school district must complete a proposed action statement to mitigate audit concerns. OSD reviewed the credit card MOU and found the form to be out of date. We also found that our process for collecting MOUs is inefficient and haphazard.  With the help of the SAO and the OSD District Accounting Advisory Committee, we have established a new form and method of completion that we hope is faster, and more instructive, for all involved.

How does this impact me?

In the next couple of weeks, certificated staff will be prompted with a Required Form Completion screen in Skyward. Skyward will prompt you to complete the new Credit Card MOU by clicking on the form, reviewing each requirement and clicking ‘yes’ that you understand, and electronically “signing” and submitting the form. With the completion of this form you will be authorized to utilize the district credit card.  Annually the district will send the MOU electronically to you via Skyward and request that you complete the form. The form is required to be completed prior to using the district credit card (Principals, office professionals and Knox staff have already been through this process).

Administrative staff will be verifying staff have completed the MOU beginning in Fall of 2018. Unfortunately, failing to complete the MOU will result in loss of credit card privileges in the future. If you fill out this form now, unanticipated travel or impromptu credit card use will be much more smooth if it crops up.

We do understand you may have questions or concerns on this process. Please feel free to contact Business Services at Ext. 6120 with your questions, or send an email to

Importantly, the Help Desk is ready to take calls on how to complete this form.  If you have questions as you fill out the form, please call 6172 and they can help you quickly.

We hope this is a quick and efficient way to get some of our annual paperwork out of the way. Office personnel do not have to distribute forms, you do not have to remember to hand in your form, and no one has to manually roll-up which forms are still missing. All of this can be electronic. Please do not hesitate to contact the Help Desk at 6172, or Business Services at .

Thank you for your help in reaching compliance with audit requirements.

Empty teacher webpages to be archived beginning July 1, 2018

Lincoln Teacher Caron Stehr's Web page on the SchoolMessenger websiteThe end of the 2017-18 school year is right around the corner. As we prepare for summer break, all teacher pages created when we rolled out the new School Messenger websites this past October are being reviewed.

As we review individual teacher pages it has become evident that many have not been updated since they were created and are pages of blank content. Come July 1, the Communications Department will be reviewing all teacher pages and hiding (archiving) pages which have no content on the page. This does not mean the pages will be deleted — rather, simply hidden from public view. If at some point down the road you have interest in pushing content to your teacher page, you simply need to contact the Communications Department at (360) 596-6103 or to have the page reposted and made available to the public.

The reason for unposting these pages is to avoid confusion for our families who are expecting content on teacher pages. This is just best practice. We are aware that there are other options available to teachers (i.e. Schoology) that may be a better fit than a traditional teacher webpage. That is great! We just want to make sure our families have access to updated, accurate content, regardless of platform.

Any hidden teacher pages can be easily recovered should anyone change their mind. If you don’t have any content on your pages currently, but were planning on pushing content out to your page over the summer, please let us know so we don’t hide/archive your page.

If it has been a while since you’ve worked on your page and you need a refresher on how to work in the School Messenger platform, take a few minutes to review these screencasts. They should help answer some of the basic questions you may run into when creating content for your page. These screencasts are posted on the OSD Intranet, so you will be prompted to log in to the site when accessing the videos. Please remember to log in using your district associated Google credentials.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the OSD Communications Department at (360) 596-6103 or We will be available throughout the summer months. Thank you!

Who will be recognized at this year’s Ice Cream Social on May 24?

Staff and guests smile and eat ice cream at table during annual ice cream socialDon’t forget to join us this Thursday afternoon, May 24, for this year’s Ice Cream Social at Olympia High School.

Ice cream will be served at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow in the high school
Commons, 1302 North St. SE, Olympia.

All staff are welcome to help honor district retirees and celebrate the following Advocates of the Year and the Teacher of the Year selected by the Olympia Education Association:

Teacher of the Year (OEA)
Christine Gendlek (Garfield)

Advocates of the Year 2017-18
Christy Austin (ORLA)
Karen Backman (Pioneer)
Robin Bailey (Centennial)
Anch Bergeson (Marshall)
Laura Brown (LP Brown)
Alicia Dufay (Garfield)
Peg Elway (Olympia)
Jim Fischer (McLane)
Dorothy Gist (Jefferson)
Marny Howell (McKenny)
Katie Jahner (Boston Harbor)
Jon Markestad (Reeves)
Richard McCartan (Capital)
Sarah Meyers (Lincoln)
Chanel Nielsen (Hansen)
Ashley Otheim (Roosevelt)
Sharyl Robbins (Madison)
October Surprise (Avanti)

2017-18 Retirees
Colleen Adams
Wayne Beeson
Dave Blankenship
Alice Burman
Jeff Carpenter
Skylar Carroll
Nancy Chase
Debbie Doherty
Kathryn Dorgan
Barbara Ensminger
Robin Fink
David Gaston
Jana Gedde
Rebecca Hahn
Matthew Herinckx
Stephany Hubert
Wendy Hughes
Arly Kehoe
Denise Kornuta
Sharan Mann
Cheryl Matern
Kris O’Bryan
Jim Phalmer
Dale Rayburn
David Rorem
Joyce Saw
Joan Schooler
Lisbeth Sheafe
Loretta Smith
Janice Stafford
Diane Stewart
Susan Stewart
Wendy Sutich
Todd Thedell
Marc Turnbow
Vickie Tuvey
Jody Underwood

Take the Educational Summit survey by 4 p.m. Monday, May 21

Sign with white letters that read "Survey" with a checkbox checked next to the wordsOlympia School District’s 5-year Strategic Plan expires at the end of 2018. Later this month, nearly 150 people representing a cross-section of the community — students, staff, family members and community members — will come together for an intensive two-day Educational Summit. This Summit will mark the beginning of our exciting work to develop an educational road map for the next five years and beyond.

While not everyone can be in the room for this two-day Summit, we value everyone’s input.  We invite you to share your voice by taking the time to answer the OSD Educational Summit Survey. Input will be shared with those at the Summit.

Please complete this online survey and submit by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 21. Thank you for your time completing this survey.

Complete the survey now! (English)

Completa la encuesta ahora! (Español)

Don’t miss the Annual Ice Cream Social on Thursday, May 24!

Staff and guests smile and eat ice cream at table during annual ice cream socialAll staff are welcome to attend the Olympia School District’s Annual Ice Cream Social to help honor district retirees and celebrate advocates of the year and the Teacher of the Year selected by the Olympia Education Association.

The event is scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24 in the Olympia High School Commons, 1302 North St., Olympia.

Ice cream will be served at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow.