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board to board News from the Board of NWESD

A Note From Our Superintendent On January 13, the Washington State Legislature convenes for the 2020 legislative session. Legislative sessions in even numbered years are traditionally 60-day “short sessions” where legislators address unresolved policy issues and make adjustments to the two-year State budget adopted the previous year. While expectations for significant legislative action this session are low, educational leaders across the NWESD 189 region are nonetheless hopeful for progress on a number of important issues. By any historical measure, the several billion dollars of additional state funding infused into K-12 education in recent years in response to the McCleary basic education lawsuit are unprecedented in scale and speed. Despite professed “McCleary fatigue” by many legislators, continued attention is needed to tackle some of the consequences of the McCleary fix as well as basic education funding issues McCleary did not adequately address. While the circumstances, priorities, and preferred remedies of individual districts undoubtedly vary, educational leaders across the NWESD 189 region possess broad agreement on the following legislative priorities, an agreement also shared by many other statewide associations and organizations: • Enhance School Safety and Security • Fully Fund Special Education • Fully Fund SEBB Implementation

• Address Funding Inequities • Update the Construction Cost Allowance and Student Space Allocation • Support Voter Choice on Simple Majority for Bond Passage

While the Legislature should rightly be acknowledged and thanked for the significant investment in K-12 education in recent years, there remains continued needs, unresolved issues, and consequences – intended and unintended – from the McCleary fix that deserve further legislative attention and action. I dare say that many educators experience fatigue on a daily basis as they give their all to improve the lives of our State’s 1.1 million students. Focus on the continued challenges facing public education – still our State’s constitutional paramount duty - should not fall victim to legislative fatigue. The kids in our schools today are experiencing their one chance for a world class public education. Fatigue or not, they deserve our collective best efforts to provide that opportunity.

Larry Francois

NWESD Superintendent

December-January 2019-2020

2020 Superintendent of the Year Dr. Greg Baker, Superintendent of Bellingham Public Schools Dr. Greg Baker, superintendent of Bellingham Public Schools, was recently named the 2020 Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA). The award is designed to recognize the outstanding leadership of active, front-line superintendents and pay tribute to those who lead Washington’s public schools. “During the past nine years as superintendent, Greg Baker has provided visionary and principled leadership that has produced extraordinary results for the students in the Bellingham Public Schools,” said WASA Executive Director Joel Aune. “Greg brings a high degree of integrity and courage to the work, willing to ask difficult questions and make tough decisions in the best interest of the children and young people in his schools. He also understands that culture and systems are the foundation upon which a great school district is built. Under his leadership, a student-centered culture and systems that ensure all students have access and opportunity have produced great things for kids.” “It’s an honor to receive this recognition. I would like to acknowledge that it really represents the incredibly hard work of so many others,” said Baker. “In Bellingham, we have a united focus on The Bellingham Promise, our commitment to the students of our district. To achieve what we have thus far, it takes a high performing and equityfocused school board, district leadership team, and staff, all supported by an incredible community, with a deep love toward our nearly 12,000 exceptional students,” he said. As the state’s Superintendent of the Year, Baker will be a candidate for the 2020 American Association of School Administrators’ National Superintendent of the Year Award. The national award will be announced in February at the AASA National Conference on Education in San Diego. In conjunction with the award, Washington’s Superintendent of the Year will receive a $1,000 check from D.A. Davidson & Company to use toward a school or educational program of his choice.

Retirement Announcement Pam Estvold, Assistant Superintendent Teaching & Learning After 39 years of dedicated service to the eduction community, Pam Estvold, NWESD Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, has set her sights on a well-deserved retirement. Pam was hired for her first teaching position at the age of 20 and went on to have a successful career in education, including 20 years in the Spokane School District and 19 years in Western Washington. During that time she taught for eight years, and served for 22 years as an assistant principal and principal at all grade levels. Four years ago Pam was hired at the NWESD leadership level, where she is closing out her career on June 30, 2020. Clearly Pam has enjoyed serving our students and working with educators across Washington State! The entire education community has benefitted from Pam’s leadership and passion for teaching and learning. We will miss Pam and truly appreciate her many talents and all of her contributions to the NWESD and beyond. Please join us in wishing Pam the best in her retirement.

Upcoming Events

School Safety Conference

Early Learning Summit

Contact: Mia Troy 360-299-4016

Contact: Anita Garcia-Holzemer 360-299-4044

January 16-17, 2020

Administrative Professionals Conference

March 3, 2020

April 22, 2020

Contact: Jennifer Longchamps 360-299-4095

Extracurricular Student Programs

Each year, in early winter and spring, the NWESD coordinates three highly anticipated student programs that provide an outside-of-the-classroom arena for students and teachers to hone their skills in writing, art, and knowledge: the Young Authors Conference, Knowledge Bowl, and the NWESD High School Art Show. Visit our website at the URLs below for dates, registration, and other information. Hope to see you there!

See website for schedule

KNOWLEDGE BOWL Contact: Nancy Menard 360-299-4020| more info:

March 9-13 & March 16-20

NWESD REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ART SHOW Contact: Jennifer Longchamps 360-299-4095 | more info:

March 24-27

YOUNG AUTHORS CONFERENCE Contact: Kristine Juhl 360-299-4030| more info:

Charles Crabtree, District 1 Bellingham, Meridian

Dr. Jack Thompson, District 2 Blaine, Ferndale, Lopez Island, Lynden, Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley, Orcas Island, San Juan Island, Shaw Island Mark Venn, District 3 Anacortes, Burlington-Edison, Concrete, Conway, Darrington, La Conner, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley Claudia Talmadge, District 4 Coupeville, Lakewood, Mukilteo, Oak Harbor, South Whidbey, Stanwood-Camano

Educational Service Districts have served Washington State for almost fifty years, providing vital services and functioning as advocates for local districts. Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD) serves Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties. NWESD’s more than fifty programs are organized into seven departments to serve you: Administration, Early Learning, Fiscal Services, Prevention Center, Special Programs and Services, Teaching and Learning, and Technology Services. Please visit us on our website at for more information on each of these departments.

Stay in touch

Dr. Alan Erickson, District 5 Everett

Cory Duskin, District 6 Arlington, Granite Falls, Index, Marysville, Sultan Winter 2020

Claudia Buxton, District 7 Edmonds, Mukilteo

Sue Phillips, District 8 Edmonds, Mukilteo

Merle Kirkley, District 9 Lake Stevens, Monroe, Snohomish

Tami Caraballo:

NWESD 2020 Teacher of the Year Science & Biotech Instructor Glacier Peak High School | 6

View our latest print publications online: or to request a printed copy email:

Profile for NWESD 189

December - January NWESD Board to Board Newsletter  

News from the Board of the NWESD

December - January NWESD Board to Board Newsletter  

News from the Board of the NWESD

Profile for nwesd