Ferndale School Board Honored as 2019 Board of Distinction

Ferndale School Board at WSSDA Conference: (L-R) Avneet Pannu, Linda Quinn, Lee Anne Riddle, Dr. Kevin Erickson, Andrew McLaurin and incoming school board member Melinda Cool (Not pictured: Candice Wilson, Hugh Foulke, incoming board member Jessie Deardor

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) has recognized the Ferndale School Board as a 2019 Board of Distinction, marking the seventh time the board has earned the honor since 2012.

WSSDA annually recognizes school boards for demonstrating alignment with the Washington School Board Standards. The program is designed to encourage boards to examine their practices as governing bodies, particularly looking at the way their actions and decisions impact the success of students.
 
The selection process for Boards of Distinction is based on an application process. Boards who apply are judged against high standards by a panel of past or present board members and superintendents.

Board of Distinction honors are categorized statewide by small districts (1,000 or fewer students), medium districts (1,001-9,000 students), and large districts (more than 9,000 students). Ferndale was one of 18 medium school district boards recognized this year, and one of 33 total school boards receiving Board of Distinction honors.

The Ferndale School Board has been composed of members Dr. Kevin Erickson, Lee Anne Riddle, Candice Wilson, Hugh Foulke and Andrew McLaurin, along with student members Noah Semu and Avneet Pannu. Recently in late November, incoming members Melinda Cool and Jessie Deardroff began their terms in replacement of retiring members Candice Wilson and Hugh Foulke. Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn serves as Secretary to the Board.

Pictured in the image are (L-R) Avneet Pannu, Linda Quinn, Lee Anne Riddle, Dr. Kevin Erickson, Andrew McLaurin and Melinda Cool (Not pictured: Candice Wilson, Hugh Foulke, Jessie Deardorff, Noah Semu). 

The board’s application addressed professional development through the regular retreats they schedule for the purpose of learn together and using what they learn for positive impact. In particular, they cited a June 2019 mini-retreat where they delved into recent legislative actions that would be impacting the 2019-2020 budget.
 
The board’s essay about closing the opportunity gap included such actions as launching a District Equity Team, increasing pre-kindergarten intervention programs, launching FerndaleCARES as a new way of framing the district mission, and passing a capital projects bond to build a new high school facility that will better support student learning. 

The board’s essay focused on WSSDA’s standards included a discussion of the process the board has undertaken during the two three years to transition to a new policy governance model. During phase one of this process, they developed detailed interpretations of each policy. Currently, in phase two, they are monitoring the district’s progress toward meeting the criteria the board has established for each policy.

In each essay of their application essays, the board was required to show how they use data to inform their actions and the way their decisions result in positive outcomes for students. 

The Ferndale School Board is committed to the following the six strategic commitments outlined in the district’s strategic plan: (1) enhancing student learning and development, (2) communicating openly and effectively, (3) managing resources responsibly and productively, (4) honoring, celebrating and embracing our diverse community, (5) safeguarding equity and equal opportunity, and (6) ensuring the safety of each student and staff member.

Board of Distinction recipients were recognized at the annual WSSDA conference, held in Bellevue, WA, November 21-24, 2019. View the WSSDA press release here.

To find more information about the Ferndale School Board, please visit www.ferndalesd.org/school-board.