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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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September 9, 2009

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A6 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS FROM PAGE A1 Task Force. Fletcher also served as presi- dent for the state school board organization and has traveled throughout the state and nation on behalf of education initiatives. "Connie has been a tremendous advocate for children in the Issaquah School District," said Superintendent Steve Rasmussen. "She has a selfless heart, and every action she takes is with the intent to improve this system to make sure all stu- FIVE THINGS 'IllE STALE BOARD OF EDUCATION HAS DONE RECENRY Helped pass House Bill 2261, the Basic Education Reform bill, through the Legislature, which created a new account- ability system, hopefully to replace No Child LeE Behind. Passed additional graduation requirements for the class of 2018; instead of graduating with 19 credits students will need 24. Reviewed kindergarten through 12th- grade mathematics standards and made A: As a board, we have insisted on rig- orous, long-term financial planning and conservative fiscal management. Despite chronic underfunding and a huge financial disadvantage relative to other districts, we are financially very sound. I'm also proud of the board's focus on governance. We can see that this focus is making a positive impact all the way from the board room to the classroom. On a personal level, I had the privilege of chairing the efforts to develop a policy guide for school boards on closing the Achievement Gap. Q: If there was anything you would do over ageln, what would It be? dents succeed, especially those who might need extra support. We should all be proud curriculum recommendations. A: The teacher strike in 2002 has taken of her progression to this next level, where , Are reviewing kindergarten through us years to recover from. We have heard her depth of education knowledge and corn- 12th-grade science standards and will from teachers that the court-ordered injunction was hurtful, deepening wounds passion for children will spread statewide." make curriculum recommendations, and making the healing more difficult. Since someone will be elected in Set new mathematics graduation November, remaining board members requirements for the class of 2013. Q: What will you miss most about serving on don t need to fill Fletcher's seat before ( REO FA][CRAI Students must graduate with three, the beard In this community? hand. Two candidates, Wright Noel and Janet Barry, Barbara de Michelle, Ava Fdslnger, Connie Retcher and Jan Woldseth (from instead of two, math credits. A: I will miss the people I have worked Marnie Maraldo, are seeking the position, left) turn dirt over during the groundbreaking in 2005 for Grand Ridge Elementary school, over the years. I m not moving, and "She has an excellent way engaging our I II still be involved in education and the representatives and our community in After a two-day interview process,a good school board member. There was an him on leave. As president of the board, I was community, but there just won't be the Issaquah, said Issaquah School Board Fletcher was unanimously voted theopen seat and she encouraged me to run. I in the eye of a media storm and presided over opportunities to work closely with our President Brian Deagle said. "It is going to board s newest member, wasn't able to at the time, because my chil- the decision to buy out his contract, teachers, staff, volunteers and board mem- take a lot to replace her, and we're not "Connie has all the attributes that we are dren were small, but she planted a seed. going to replace all she brings to the board looking for," Warren Smith, vice cha of When the seat became available again in Q: What Is the greatest challenge the district bers on meaningful projects. with just the individual that fills her posi- the board, said m a press release. She four years, my family and I were ready, has faced In your time as a beard member? Q: Hew and when did you decide to submit tion. All of us on the board will have to unaerstands the impact ot state policy on Hew did you solve It? your application to the state Board of step up and fill those." loll districts. Q: What is your fandest memory as a repro- A: The greatest challenge we faced as a Education? 'When I started as a new member, she She has always been committed at every ssnto e far Issaquah? district was handling the incredible amount A: After I made the announcement that I was already in her second term and was level, at the ground level with the kids, in A: There are too many over the course of of growth in the district, at the same time was not going to run for a fifth term, I was very helpful in orienting me and taking me the boardroom and in the Legislature advo- 16 years to mention just one. Every gradu- that we were implementing House Bill approached to consider running for the under her win,g,," said fellow board member catin for our community," Woldseth said. ation; new teacher luncheon; the first class 1209, the education reform act of 1993. state board. An unexpected vacancy on the Jan Woldseth. 'She is also a driving factor to Shenas more than talked the stuff. She has of National Board Certified Teachers; every The district has doubled in size since 1993, state board moved the time line up. our continuing effort to make sure every stu lived it and really done the walk.high school musical, choir, band or orches- from about 8,000 students to our nearly dent in the district has a quality experience. After local board members accept tra concert I ve had the privilege to attend; 16,000 today. There was a period of about Q: Hew do you hope to contribute to the state The state board, a 16-member panel of Fletcher's resignation, she will join the state the Issaquah Robotics Society presentation five years when we were the fastet growing Board of Education? education representatives and profession- board as a voting member at its Sept. 17 and before the state Legislature, which result- district in the state. Crafting and passing A: I'll bring a local school district per- als, is responsible for setting policies to 18 meetings. Ironically, it falls during the ed in funding for dozens of teams all bond measures to keep up with our growth spective to state-level policy making and a improve achievement, graduation rates same time she is inducted as the Kiwanis across the state, in enrollment took a great deal of the commitment to increasing academic and post-secondary preparedness for all Club of Issaquah's newest president, board's and administration's time and achievement for all students. I'm eager to students. Fourteen members vote; two stu- Fletcher talked with The Press about her Q: What was the greatest challenge you attention. At the same time, huge changes make a difference at the state level as we dent representatives don't, service and what's next. encountered as a board member, personally? in state and federal accountability for stu- continue the work to equip students with Board members serve four-year terms and are reimbursed for travel to attend meetings and are given a small stipend, $200, for each meeting they attend. To state board officials' knowledge, they have not had any other Issaquah citizen hold a position in the board, a spokesman said. A: Early in my tenure, the school board dent achievement were being imposed on the 21st century skills and knowledge they Q: Why did you run far your sbeel beard besl- was presented with information that put the local districts. The WASL and No Child Left need to be successful, global citizens. Their tlon In 19927 advisability of continuing the superinten- Behind still today create anxiety and flus- welfare and the prosperity of our state and A: I ran because someone asked me. I had dent's contract in question. I was the one "no" tration among teachers, nation depend on it. served on several districtwide committees vote in a 4-1 vote tbr rolling over the contract Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or cluse- and Superintendent Kateri Brow saw some- for a third year. After criminal charges were Q: What decision, as a board and personally, brink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquah- thing in me that made her think I would be filed a couple of months later, the board put are you most proud to have made? press.com. Hula Studio 7th grade - adult Classes in Issaquah! Now enrolling for '09-'10 term (206) 818-5837 Free Intro Lesson, Family Discounts P.ecitals, Festivals, Fun Lessons Convenient Scheduling Experienced Teachers www:eirtuosomuslc.com IDackstaue IDance Studio Hip Hop Ballet Tap Jazz Lyrical Musical Theatre Yoga Creative Movement Ages 2 to Adult Northern Light.. Montessod School Open in Issaquah! I Now Enrolling for 2009-2010 School Year I ages2 ll2-6yearsold I Visit an Open House Sat. Sept. 12, 19 & 26 from 9-5 I 375 1st P!ace NW, Issaquah 98027 425-647-3031 I Emaih norlightsmontessori@yahoo.com I Find us on the web: www.norlightsmontessori.com P ~ ~ iiii!!ii E: c ellenee In Dance Classes begin Sept. 14th! 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