Walla Walla school board earns state Board of Distinction award
Congratulations to the Walla Walla Public Schools’ Board of Directors for earning the 2020 Board of Distinction award from The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA). This is the school board’s third consecutive statewide honor.
Walla Walla was recognized in the medium-sized districts category for their actions in helping close opportunity gaps. Walla Walla school board members were able to show a clear link between their leadership in applying the Washington School Board Standards and closing gaps that impact student success. Among other accolades, the Board was acknowledged for their leadership around expanding access to early learning and exceeding their target for high school graduation rate years in advance. They were also honored for a 19.5% increase in Hispanic/Latino graduation rates that were nearly 14% above state averages, technology improvements and their focus on district curriculum enhancements and staff professional development.
“All means all in Walla Walla,” said School Board President Sam Wells. “Our strategic plan is focused on supporting the needs of all students and we do this through high quality instruction, sound operational systems and social and emotional supports in a safe and engaging learning environment."
Joining Wells on the school board is Vice President Derek Sarley and directors Ruth Ladderud, Eric Rindal and Terri Trick. A panel of 10 judges spent approximately six to eight hours each, not only reviewing applications but also working together with WSSDA staff, to collaborate 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.
Walla Walla remains in contention for the Board of the Year award that will be revealed during the virtual WSSDA state conference Nov. 19.
Photo L-R: Eric Rindal, Terri Trick, Derek Sarley, Ruth Ladderud and Sam Wells.