Applications due Oct. 19 for elementary teacher mini-grants

Thurston County School Retirees Association elementary school mini-grants explanation sheetThe Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its elementary teacher mini-grant program for the 2018-19 school year.

The deadline to apply for the elementary mini-grants is October 19, 2018. The grants are designed to provide an opportunity for elementary school teachers to enhance the education of their students.

Fill out the one page application, which is also available on the Thurston County School Retirees’ Association website.

For additional information, contact Jo Edwards at

Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.

OSD Teachers of the Year to be honored at March 26 school board meeting


OSD Elementary Teacher of the Year Lisa Escourt is honored with flowers and poses with Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Board President Frank Wilson and Madison Principal Domenico Spatola-Knoll

Congratulations to this year’s Olympia School District Teachers of the Year!

Lisa Estcourt, reading intervention specialist at Madison Elementary, is this year’s OSD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Blue Peetz, an instructor at the Freedom Farm, is this year’s OSD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

These two outstanding educators will be honored at the Monday, March 26 Olympia School Board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 3100 Cain Rd. S.E., Olympia.

Secondary Teacher of the Year Blue Peetz holds flowers during his surprise recognition and is joined by Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Board President Frank Wilson, and Olympia High Principal Matt Grant


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

Apply by March 30 for Individual Professional Growth Grant opportunities

Active members of the Olympia Education Association (OEA) bargaining unit are invited to apply by March 30 for Individual Professional Growth Grants (IPGGs) for courses that will be completed between June 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018.

There is $60,000 in IPGG money available.  If total grant allocations exceed $60,000, no individual grant reimbursement shall exceed $2,000 in any year for any individual. However, if total grant allocations are less than $60,000, an individual may receive more than $2,000. Thus, each applicant should apply for all monies spent on professional development during the grant window.

The grant application, as well as a checklist and rubric containing additional details about the application process, are posted on the staff Intranet. Once logged into the Intranet, click Departments, then K-12 Teaching and Learning. At the top of the K-12 Teaching and Learning page, click the IPGG tab.

Submit grant applications by March 30 to the IPGG Committee in the K-12 Teaching & Learning department. If you have questions about the application process, please call Christa Hilinski at 360-596-8545 or Linda Heade at 360-596-8557.

Apply by April 20 for Innovation in Education Grants

Innovation chart showing idea bubble, flow charts, and person holding up signSafeway and Albertsons are proud to announce another round of the Innovation in Education Grants for 2018. Educators can enter by submitting ideas for creative projects in literacy, math, reading, science, health, art, engineering and social studies. Innovation is encouraged, as well as unique ideas and unorthodox approaches.

The contest is open to classroom teachers and specialists working with students in grades K-12. The teacher can apply on her or his own, or if available, a school district foundation can apply on behalf of the teacher.  To apply go to and click “Get Funded.”

The Safeway and Albertsons Foundation focuses its giving on the communities it serves and the causes that matter most to its customers and employees. The Foundation is proud to help support innovative teachers and creative learning for the children in their communities.

Applications are due April 20, 2018 and winners will be announced during the week of May 7-11, 2018.  Questions may be directed to Christine Ellis at