ARLINGTON — On Jan. 28, the Arlington School District Board of Directors was officially recognized as part of the state of Washington's School Board Recognition Month in January.
"Over the past 18 years, public school districts and their communities have acknowledged the dedication, commitment and hard work of their school board members each January," said Andrea Conley, public information coordinator for the Arlington School District.
The Arlington School Board's current lineup includes President Ursula Ghirardo, Vice President Kay Duskin, Legislative Representative Dr. Jeff Huleatt, and members Jim Weiss and Bob McClure, as well as student advisors Russell Smithson and Olivia Curnett.
Conley explained that, with the exception of their student advisors, school boards are elected, and their members are tasked with "governance responsibilities in vision, structure, accountability and advocacy," overseeing policies in curriculum, personnel, instruction, community relations and management support.
"The care and commitment of our School Board members is extraordinary," said Dr. Kristine McDuffy, superintendent of the Arlington School District. "They devote hundreds of hours to ensure that we have a strong vision for the future, a clear path for the present and the necessary resources focused on our core work. I can't thank them enough for their vision,
their commitment and their tireless support."
Kathy Engell, principal of Kent Prairie Elementary, credited the School Board members with investing long hours and hard work into researching and soliciting input, so that they might better understand the complex issues affecting not just Arlington's schools, but public education as a whole.
"Members of the Board view the work they do through the lens of what's best for the kids of Arlington," Engell said. "Using this filter, students are the winners, staff are supported, parents are heard and the work of education moves forward."
"With Board support, we saw a need to align our instruction and assessments to state standards, and the common core standards adopted nationwide, so that we can improve our instruction for our students," said Adele Barborinas, program support specialist for Presidents Elementary. "We've already seen major gains in student achievement as a result of this process. The adoption of this year's calendar allows us to meet and collaborate once a month around our guaranteed and viable curriculum, and is further proof of the deep commitment our Board has to student success."
Board meetings are generally open to the public and held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.