Kent School Board named ‘Board of the Year’


The Kent School District Board of Directors

The Kent School District Board of Directors

The Kent School Board last week was named the top large-district board in the state, earning recognition and an award from the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

The Board of the Year award, given annually to one small, medium and large district in the state, recognizes boards that demonstrate outstanding efforts and accomplishments in promoting student achievement.

Board President Bill Boyce said he was honored to receive the award and said he and his fellow directors share the recognition with the district, which implements the policies set by the directors.

“We were very excited to receive the award,” Boyce said. “I think it really represents the whole school district.”

Earlier this year, the board submitted to WSSDA a 2,000-word essay describing its role in improving student achievement.

Phil Gore, director of leadership development services for WSSDA, said the judges were impressed with the district’s strategic use of technology, such as the technology academies and the one-to-one laptop program, as well as the continued focus on teaching and learning. Gore said WSSDA also was impressed with the board members’ continuing focus on their own continued development.

“They have had a focus on systems learning that led them to participate in their own development,” Gore said, calling the Kent board an “exemplar leader among their peers.”

In a press release announcing the award, WSSDA cited several programs that underscore the board’s emphasis on “strategic planning, data-based decision making, community engagement and an expectation that the educational needs of all students will be met.” Those programs included the Kent Phoenix Academy, a summer WASL-prep program, the creation of the Refugee Transition Center and professional development for all staff members.

Gore said the judges also were impressed because the Kent board is so active and involved, making classroom visits and taking reports from all building principals — all without micromanaging the administration.

Gore said that while some school boards do some of the same things as Kent, “Kent just does it all.”

The Kent School Board of Directors meets next at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Administration Center, 12033 S.E. 256 St.


Boyce said the board works hard to establish relationships with all parties in the district, from the administration to the teachers to the staff, and said each member of the current board brings something to the table to make a “strong team.”

“I think this board here is probably the best board I’ve ever been on,” Boyce said, adding that he has served on the school board for 15 years.

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