Vancouver Sch. Dist.
Celebration will honor retired board member Edri Geiger (Photo)
A celebration honoring former Vancouver Public Schools Board Director Edri Geiger will be held Monday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bates Center for Educational Leadership, 2921 Falk Rd. The public is invited. Geiger served on the board of directors from 2005 to November 2015.
During her 10-year tenure, Geiger has been a champion for equity. In 2014, Geiger received the Outstanding Advocate Award from the Washington State PTA for continued and dedicated service to all children and a demonstrated commitment to helping create strong policies related to the health, welfare, safety and education of children and youth. Geiger also was a member of the Special Education Parent Teacher Association of Southwest Washington and a board member of the Foundation for The Children's Justice Center.
Geiger served on the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction's Student Discipline Task Force and was a member of the National School Boards Association and the Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA), serving on Resolutions and Legislative Committees. Geiger is a 2013 WSSDA Leadership graduate where she continued to hone her skills on advocacy. Her listserv kept the WSSDA Region 6 district governance teams up to date on legislation. She worked with other local and state elected officials to achieve good outcomes for students. She also was an ex-officio board member of the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools.
During Geiger's terms, WSSDA recognized the Vancouver Public Schools board of directors as Board of the Year in 2010 and 2011, and named it a Special Merit winner in 2013 after five consecutive years as a Board of Distinction.
Even prior to being elected to the board, Geiger was a longtime advocate for education. As one of the first teachers in the country to achieve National Board Certification, President Bill Clinton honored Geiger at the White House in 1994. She taught in Vancouver schools for 10 years, primarily at Hudson's Bay High School and Jason Lee Middle School. She has taught secondary students in social studies, language arts, science, math, art, technology and career exploration. She developed and implemented programs for high school at-risk students and a multiage middle school program. She also served with Camp Fire Council and Young Audiences of Oregon and Southwest Washington. As an education consultant, Geiger created and implemented a multi-year Ford Family Foundation program for National Board candidates in Oregon and California, and she helped create Vancouver Public Schools' teacher mentor program.
"Children are our greatest resource. Each child is special. It is up to us as adults to help them unlock the key to their individual greatness. The most important gift we can give our youth is to listen fully, understand compassionately and demonstrate our belief in their worth by supporting them as they make their way to adulthood," said Geiger.
Geiger's future plans include her continued advocacy for children and youth.
WASA names 2016 Washington State Superintendent of the Year (Photo)
Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Steven Webb receives top honor as Washington State's Superintendent of the Year
OLYMPIA--The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) has named Dr. Steven Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools, the 2016 Superintendent of the Year. The announcement was made Nov. 21 at WASA's Superintendents Component meeting in Bellevue. The award recognizes the outstanding leadership of active, front-line superintendents and pays tribute to those who lead our public schools.
In Vancouver, Webb has led efforts to increase program choices in grades K-12, expand school-community partnerships that meet the needs of poverty-affected children, and personalize education through the use of one-to-one technology. Since 2010, the four-year on-time graduation rate in his district has risen from 64 percent to more than 80 percent. Webb also has provided national leadership through the American Association of School Administrators Digital Consortium, Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, Coalition for Community Schools, and U.S. Department of Education Future Ready Initiative.
"Steve is an outstanding voice for public education. His leadership throughout the district, at the national level, and within WASA comes at a time when we need strong advocates for our schools," said Dr. Bill Keim, WASA executive director. "Steve's commitment to ensuring all students achieve their best, such as the district's 'Opportunity Zone' initiative, truly has made a difference in the academic careers of thousands of students and their families. Graduation rates are up, achievement gaps are closing, and more students are college, career, and life ready. We congratulate Steve and Vancouver Public Schools on this honor."
As the state's Superintendent of the Year, Webb also will serve as a candidate for the 2016 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 Phoenix.
"As a superintendent, my job is to create a culture that enables and empowers others to act with focus and coherency in transforming the lives of the children we serve. I'm inspired by the progress we've made in Vancouver Public Schools," said Webb. "I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of our students, staff, and community. And, I'm proud to represent Washington state."
Vancouver Public Schools enrolls approximately 23,500 students annually at 37 schools and specialized program sites. Webb first joined the district as deputy superintendent in 2006 and was appointed to serve as superintendent in 2008. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of Apple Valley Unified School District in California and deputy superintendent of Lake Stevens School District. He also has served as a principal and assistant principal in the Lake Stevens, Peninsula, and Port Townsend school districts.
A native Washingtonian, Webb holds a doctorate in educational leadership and earned his superintendent leadership credentials from Seattle University. He has a Master of Arts in teaching from Lewis & Clark College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and government from the University of Puget Sound.
In addition to his district responsibilities, Webb is active on the board of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington, and the Washington State University Vancouver Advisory Council. Webb and his wife, Lisa, have two children who both attend Vancouver Public Schools.
Washington's Superintendent of the Year is awarded a $1,000 check from D.A. Davidson & Company to use toward an educational program of their choice. Past recipients of the WASA Superintendent of the Year Award include:
* 2015: Dennis Kip Herren, Auburn SD
* 2014: Edward Vargas, Kent SD
* 2013: Saundra Hill, Pasco SD
* 2012: Patti Banks, University Place SD
* 2011: Mary Alice Heuschel, Renton SD **National Superintendent of the Year Finalist**
* 2010: Steve Chestnut, Selah SD
* 2009: Mark Johnson, Nooksack Valley SD
* 2008: Linda Byrnes, Arlington SD
* 2007: Larry Nyland, Marysville SD
* 2006: Ben Soria, Yakima SD
* 2005: Art Jarvis, Enumclaw SD
* 2004: Carol Whitehead, Everett SD
* 2003: Rich McCullough, Snoqualmie Valley SD
* 2002: Steve Rasmussen, Franklin Pierce SD
* 2001: Dale Kinsley, Bellingham SD
* 2000: Karen Forys, Northshore SD
* 1999: Jim Shoemake, Tacoma SD
* 1998: Mark Mitrovich, Peninsula SD
* 1997: Gary Livingston, Spokane SD
* 1996: Janet Barry, Central Kitsap SD **National Superintendent of the Year**
* 1995: Bud Scarr, Lake Washington SD
* 1994: Jim Parsley, Vancouver SD
* 1993: Brian Benzel, Edmonds SD
* 1992: Kent Matheson, Highline SD
* 1991: Jerry Hester, Spokane SD
* 1990: Dennis Ray, Walla Walla SD
* 1989: Dewayne Gower, South Kitsap SD
* 1988: George Daniel, Kent SD
About the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA):
WASA (www.wasa-oly.org) is a non-profit organization committed to the development of quality education through professional leadership. Members benefit from a supportive community of professional leaders working to provide insightful, valuable training, support, and resources. WASA also strives to sustain a positive impact on legislative and community leaders. Membership is open to education administrators in Washington state.
Board puts replacement educational maintenance and operations levy on ballot
Vancouver Public Schools' board of directors authorized an educational replacement maintenance and operations (M & O) levy for the Feb. 9 ballot. The board unanimously approved the resolution at its Nov. 10 meeting.
The current levy, which voters approved in 2013, will expire in 2016. The replacement levy will provide funding for schools in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A local levy has been in place in Vancouver Public Schools for more than 50 years (since 1964).
Local levy dollars make up about 18.2 percent of the district's general fund budget. The levy pays for teacher and support positions; classroom supplies, textbooks and equipment; instructional technology and software; school safety and security; maintenance of buildings and grounds; staff training and professional development; support for programs of choice; extended day/year learning; education for students with special needs; extracurricular activities and intramural sports; technology support in classrooms; substitutes (teachers and classified staff); portable classrooms; and utilities, insurance and fuel.
The district is requesting authorization of $46.2 million for collection in 2017, $47.3 million for collection in 2018 and $48.4 million for collection in 2019. Washington state law limits the amount local districts can request to 28 percent of the district's revenue from the previous year and projected inflationary costs. Vancouver's levy amounts were based on a levy lid of 24 percent. Estimated M & O levy rates (per $1,000 of assessed property value) are $3.04 for 2017, $3.02 for 2018 and $3 for 2019.
For the owner of a $250,000 home, the replacement levy will cost $760 in 2017 (based on a levy rate of $3.04 per $1,000 of assessed property value). The rate for 2016 is $3.06 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
"Money from our local levy measures pays for direct student and classroom support," said Board President Mark Stoker. "If approved by voters, these dollars will continue the great work happening in our schools."
The McCleary decision, mandating that the state fully fund basic education, has offset a fraction of budget cuts the state has made in the past several years. However, state dollars still only comprise approximately 69.3 percent of the district's general fund budget. The local levy, federal money and other sources make up the remainder.
If voters approve the local replacement levy, VPS will be eligible for levy equalization funds from the state. For the 2015-16 fiscal year, the district will receive approximately $9.5 million in equalization funds. The district qualifies because its assessed value of property is lower than the tax base of wealthier districts.
For more information, go to http://vansd.org.
Students create, perform original physical theater work (Photo)
The Inevitable Consequence of Gravity
"The Inevitable Consequence of Gravity, or There Once Was a Fish" is a devised physical theater comedy created by students from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics under the artistic direction of guest artist Arturo Martinini and theater teacher Anne Averre. This whimsical, experimental performance is inspired by the idea of music as a narrative device and is presented in a style influenced by vaudeville and the Commedia dell'Arte.
The Inevitable Consequence of Gravity, or There Once Was a Fish
Dates: Nov. 13, 14, 19*, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m.*
Show length: Approximately 90 minutes
Venue: Vancouver School of Arts and Academics' Royal Durst Theater, 3101 Main St., Vancouver, WA 98663
Cost: Tickets available at the door; $4 for students with ASB card and seniors over 65 and $5 general admission. Proceeds benefit the school's Associated Student Body.
Appropriate for: All ages
Contact: Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, 360-313-4600
Portland, Oregon-based Martinini is a theater professional and scholar who comes to VSAA from making theatre in and around Rome, where he held the positions of director and artistic director for theater companies Compagnia Domus Talenti and Compagnia dei Cenci. He also performed under the direction of the award-winning Romeo Castellucci and Daniele Nuccetelli. Martinini is co-creator of the Theatre Institute for Theatre Research and directs and teaches locally.
STEM school lands national award for Vancouver Public Schools - 11/01/15
Vancouver Public Schools is one of 30 districts nationwide and one of just three Washington state districts to receive District Administration magazine's November 2015 District of Distinction award. VPS was honored for Vancouver iTech Preparatory, a school focused on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Vancouver iTech Preparatory serves grades six through 12 on two campuses, one at the Jim Parsley Education, Family and Community Center and one co-located on the Washington State University Vancouver campus. With a focus on STEM and a liberal arts component, iTech uses project-, problem- and practice-based learning to encourage inquiry, critical analysis and innovation. While enrolled at iTech, students have individual laptops and early access to college courses, earning one to two years' worth of college credits by the time they graduate.
"While we prepare students for college and careers in STEM fields, we also must create an atmosphere where students can learn with passion, creativity and the belief that they are free to challenge their own limitless potential," said Principal Christina Iremonger. "Only then have we met our goals as educators."
Since the school opened in 2012, iTech Prep has posted test scores that exceed state averages on math and biology end-of-course exams and sophomore reading and writing tests. Forecasted Smarter Balanced Assessment scores for the 2014-15 school year point toward iTech Prep once again surpassing averages.
Said Superintendent Steven Webb, "I am impressed by what iTech has accomplished in just a few years. This is a school that prepares its students for college, careers and life, including myriad post-secondary opportunities in STEM and other fields. Vancouver Public Schools is fortunate to have such talented iTech students, staff members and administrators in our district. We're also grateful for the ongoing support of our board; parents; the Vancouver community; and our partners, particularly Washington State University Vancouver. This award is a positive reflection on everyone's contributions."
This is Vancouver Public Schools' second District of Distinction award, which honors K-12 organizations for initiatives that benefit students and lead the way for other districts to follow. It received an award in 2014 for its Family-Community Resource Centers.