November 20 reception to honor outgoing school board members

Olympia School District board of directors during November meeting discussionEmployees and the community are invited to a reception on Monday, November 20 to recognize three outgoing Olympia School District Board of Directors.

The reception will be held from 6-6:30 p.m., just prior to the start of the regular school board meeting at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15h Ave. S.E., Olympia. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The district will recognize the service of: Mark Campeau, who has served on the board since 2008; Justin Montermini, who has been a board member since 2011; and Eileen Thomson, who has been on the board since 2008.

The three outgoing board members will also be honored during the regular board meeting.

United Way annual giving campaign extended through November 30

Live United message on United Way logoOlympia School District’s annual United Way giving campaign, which started on November 1, has been extended through Thursday, November 30.

New this year is the ability to donate online; therefore, the district has not sent paper pledge forms to schools.  Please note there is an option on the online pledge form to check whether you would like your donation to be “ongoing” and continue past this school year. If you only intend to donate for this school year, make sure you “uncheck” the box.

In commemoration of the 25th year of Day of Caring in Thurston County, the United Way is running a special “25 for 12” campaign. Anyone who donates $25 or more a month for 12 months will receive a “Live United” T-shirt with the Olympia School District logo.

United Way is a national organization that provides a multitude of services to thousands of people right here in the Olympia community, including many of the students and families served by the school district.

Donations through the United Way support a variety of organizations, including the Thurston County Food Bank, Community Youth Services, TOGETHER, Pizza Klatch, CEILO, the Reading Buddy Program, Behavioral Health Resources and the Olympia School District Education Foundation.

Additional details about the United Way of Thurston County can be found on their
website and in this video. This year’s campaign timeline is concurrent with other local school district campaigns.

If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Kim
Doherty in the Communications and Community Relations Department at or (360) 596-6108.

All online pledge forms need to be completed no later than Thursday, November 30.

View the online pledge form

Congratulations Classified School Employees of the Year!

CSEY Michell Orwig with Superintendent Patrick Murphy, Garfield Principal Brendon Chertok, and OSD Board President Eileen ThomsonThe announcements came as a surprise, and each one was filled with emotion ranging from tears and cheers, to standing ovations and hugs.

The Olympia School District recently announced this year’s Classified School Employees of the Year.

Congratulations to:

  • Michell Orwig (top photo), paraeducator at Garfield Elementary School. She has worked as a paraeducator at Garfield Elementary since 2005.
  • Carolyn Poage (center photo), head custodian at Olympia High School. She has worked in the Olympia School District since 2003. In those 14 years, she has been a substitute custodian, a swing custodian, and a Head Custodian.
  • Marilyn Dye (bottom photo), delivery driver with Child Nutrition Services. She has worked for the Olympia School District since 1990, when she was hired as a bus driver. In the 2008-09 school year, she held some temporary positions as custodial, grounds (warehouse distribution) and mail delivery in between her bus driving. In 2009, she became the food service delivery driver and has held that role ever since.

CSEY Carolyn Poage with OHS Principal Matt GrantAll three will be honored at a special recognition ceremony during the November 20, 2017 Olympia School Board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E., Olympia.

The award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration.

In September, the Olympia School District opened nominations for Classified School Employee of the Year. The district invited staff, students, parents and community members to submit nominations.

The district received nearly 40 nominations from throughout the district. A screening committee made up of OSD employees and community members reviewed the submissions and recommended the three names to Superintendent Patrick Murphy.

Murphy, School Board President Eileen Thomson, and school leaders announced the winners and presented them with flowers during impromptu staff meetings.

Classified School Employee of the Year is an annual statewide awards program through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. It begins with local nominations from school districts throughout Washington. Those individuals have a chance of then being named a regional Classified School Employee of the Year, which allows them to advance to the state competition.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction recognizes the regional finalists and announces the state Classified School Employee of the Year at the annual spring award ceremony at the Old Capitol Building in Olympia.

The state award winner and regional finalists are invited to several annual recognition events including the Governor’s Reception for Exceptional Educators.

CSEY Marilyn Dye with Child Nutrition Services staff and Superintendent Patrick Murphy

Annual retirement statements for 2016-17 are available online

Annual retirement statements for the 2016-17 school year are available online for Olympia School District employees.

To view your 2016-17 annual retirement statement, log in to your Online Account on the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) website. We encourage you to review your annual statement, which shows your service credit and defined benefit contributions.

To view your annual retirement statement:

  • Go to your Online Account
  • Log in if you’re a current user ,or follow the easy sign-up instructions.

If you have questions about your Online Account or do not have access to the Internet, contact DRS at 360-664-7000 or 800-547-6657. You may also email DRS at

Safety Tip of the Week: Recycling during the holidays

Reuse Reduce Recycle message in green lettering

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about recycling during the holidays. 

During the holidays people toss away more material than at any other time of the year.

Newspapers get thicker due to robust printed advertising and numerous inserts. Mailboxes become stuffed with flyers, catalogs, offers and greeting cards. Package delivery services are busy dropping off boxes all over town. The results are more waste and more recyclables.

Ways to Reduce the Amount of Trash You Create


Cut down on the amount of non-recyclable materials you throw out to help the planet.
What’s a good way to do this?

1. Try to reduce the amount of packaging you purchase by buying products in bulk.

2. Have any paper statements that are normally mailed to you – such as bills, financial statements, newsletters, holiday catalogs etc. emailed to you instead.

  • To eliminate credit card promotional mailings, call 1-888- 567-8688 (that’s 888-5OPT- OUT) or visit
  • Remove your name from mailing lists at It can
    take up to 90 days for the flow to stop since many mailings are already in
    print or production.
  • More options to cut down on unwanted material is available here:

3. Buy products that are packaged in cardboard or paper board instead of Styrofoam.

4. Try to avoid disposable items such as paper plates, cups, and utensils.

5. When wrapping presents, opt for reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper – or maybe even reuse wrapping paper.

Composting is another way to reduce trash

Composting is the simple step of setting aside your fruit peals and pits along with other
food waste that does not contain oils or meat and then putting it into a compost pile. This will not only create a much cleaner smelling kitchen but also produce great nutrients for your garden.


One of the most effective ways to help us to bring your own reusable bag to purchase
groceries. If you forget, insist on paper, and pack as many goods in one bag as possible, without double bagging.

Donate old toys and clothing to a thrift store before you buy more. Even if the clothes can no longer be worn, thrift stores will generally sell them to textile recyclers.

Consider gift bags or baskets or a reusable bag, all of which can be used year after year, instead of wrapping paper.

Rechargeable batteries are a gift that keeps those holiday toys and gadgets running. They greatly reduce the number of batteries thrown into the landfill.


Food for thought: Thirteen percent of landfill waste is food and an estimated 36 million tons of food waste went to U.S. landfills in 2015. This holiday season, buy only what you need, share extra food and plan to use leftovers.

Responsibly e-cycle your old technology. Many nonprofits will accept working cell phones and computers.

Visit available at Thurston County Public Works solid waste programs for more details.

2017-18 Schoology Essentials series for middle and high school teachers

Whether you are just starting out with Schoology or are well on your way, the 2017-18 Schoology Essentials is a series of one-hour sessions focused on specific tools in the platform. The workshops are geared for middle and high school teachers.

Each session is offered as a stand-alone class, but the series is designed to build overall knowledge of the Schoology Learning Management System. Workshops are led by the instructional tech coaches.

Sessions are eligible for compensation through Tech PD or Self-Directed SD. Clock hours will be offered under the blanket Tech PD course at the end of the school year. Please register on pdEnroller in advance. Bring your fully charged laptop loaded with Chrome browser.