The Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) announced earlier this summer the selection of Olympia native Katy Johansson as its first executive director. Johansson, a product of the Olympia School District and a Capital High School alumna, brings her passion for area schools and experience in K-12 education to the position.
As a former math intervention paraeducator at Hansen Elementary, Johansson says she has seen the power of the Foundation at work in her own school.
“I am excited to lead and promote an organization for which I have so much esteem,” Johansson said. “I’ve persuaded teachers on several occasions to apply for a Teaching and Learning grant to purchase books or classroom supplies that Hansen’s PTO could not finance. Last fall, I observed the Principal’s Emergency Fund in action when I accompanied my principal on a grocery shopping trip for a Hansen family in need.”
Johansson continued, “I’ve heard stories from former Hansen students who, once they move across the street to Marshall (Middle School), are improving in and liking math — thanks to the Foundation’s Middle School Math Tutoring program. And I’ve led fifth graders on their first-ever hike at Cispus, also funded by OSDEF. I truly believe the OSDEF’s programs are enriching and, in many cases, transforming students’ lives.”
Johansson serves on the Capital City Marathon Association board, the Capital High School Foundation and is a Hansen Elementary parent volunteer.
“We could not be more thrilled to have Katy on board as our first executive director,” said incoming OSDEF Board President Kelsey Christensen-Abel. “Katy brings a unique mix of local roots, first-hand experience in Olympia K-12 classrooms and, most importantly, her enthusiasm for our organization and where we are headed. Her understanding of our school district, along with its teachers and leaders, is a tremendous asset as we look to expand the Foundation’s programs.”
Johansson concluded her employment as a paraeducator with the school district in June and began her new position with the Foundation on July 1. Since being hired, Johansson has been busy along with OSDEF Board members preparing for the annual Principal’s Emergency Fund (PEF) breakfast. The event, open to all OSD employees, is scheduled at 7 a.m. on Thursday, September 26 at the Hotel RL Olympia. The breakfast raises money for the PEF, which provides every OSD principal the resources to help meet urgent basic needs of low-income students and their families. Employees planning to attend should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org