Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
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News Release
Back row, L to R: Rob Henrikson, Tina Lambert, and Mark Watrin. Front row, L to R: Monty Anderson and Troy McCoy
Back row, L to R: Rob Henrikson, Tina Lambert, and Mark Watrin. Front row, L to R: Monty Anderson and Troy McCoy
Battle Ground Public Schools' Board of Directors receive state award (Photo) - 01/09/20

Battle Ground Public Schools' Board of Directors has received a Board of Distinction Award from the Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA) for its work in 2018-19.  The award recognizes school boards that use research-based governance practices that lead to high levels of student and district achievement.

“The board is a composite of our district's students, volunteers, teachers and administration,” said BGPS Board President Troy McCoy. “Anything the board achieves is merely a reflection of the many hours of hard work put in by everyone who shares our vision. Our board also has the advantage of Sandy U'ren and Lisa Randle keeping us on schedule. It is my pleasure to serve with this board. They all care deeply and sacrifice a lot of their time so that we can help provide a valuable education for our students.”

In its nomination for the award, the Battle Ground school board provided details about how it has worked to gather public input for critical decisions, set high expectations for student learning, and created conditions to facilitate student and staff success. Among its examples, the board described the district’s revamped staff development offerings, the success of the Family and Community Resource Center, and the various ways that the district engages with the community and seeks feedback through the interactive survey tool Thoughtexchange, as well as sponsoring many public meetings and information nights about a variety of topics.

"This group of dedicated citizens works each and every day to ensure they represent the interests of our community and provide for the best instructional opportunities for our children, continued growth and professional development for staff, and to ensure we protect and maintain our facilities and be good stewards of public funds," said district superintendent Mark Ross. "Our school board strives to conduct open and transparent meetings where community members are encouraged to provide input to the board as they consider important issues. Please join me in thanking the Battle Ground directors for all their work to make our school district a great place to learn and to work.”  

BGPS’ directors received the Board of Distinction award in November at the Washington State School Directors' Associaton's (WSSDA) annual conference in Bellevue for last year's efforts to involve stakeholders, and shared how it brought student perspective to its work.

Thirty-three school boards in Washington were named as Boards of Distinction by WSSDA. It's the largest number to be recognized in a single year in the 10-year history of the program. Applications to the Boards of Distinction program increased again this year, marking the fifth consecutive year of growth in this area. 

“Awarded or not, for a board to go through this exercise of reviewing their decision-making and looking at how that is tied to positive outcomes in a school district is extremely valuable work,” said Tricia Lubach, WSSDA’s director of leadership development. “In my book, that’s already a win for students, so I highly commend every single board that applied to the Boards of Distinction program.”

More about the Boards of Distinction Awards

The annual Boards of Distinction program is designed to encourage boards to examine their practices as governing bodies and how their actions and decisions impact the success of students. National research on the Washington State School Board Standards shows a correlation between board actions and student outcomes. Those recognized as Boards of Distinction have reviewed their decision-making and shown how that is tied to positive student outcomes.

Boards are also asked to demonstrate their actions and results in efforts to close opportunity gaps. Being selected as a Board of Distinction requires that boards show a clear link between their leadership and closing gaps that impact student success.

The applications were evaluated by a panel of 10 judges who not only reviewed applications but also worked together with WSSDA staff to calibrate with each other on how applications are evaluated. Judges from across the state included former and current Educational Service District superintendents, State Board of Education board members, former school directors, and others who are involved in education leadership on a statewide level.

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