Podcast – The 2021 Washington state Teachers of the Year

From Top Left: Brooke Brown, Ben Ballew, Megan Anderson Reilly, Devin Bauer, Chenoa Meagher, David Buitenveld, Erin Lark, Jackie Hentges, David Tracewell

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks the 2021 Washington state Teachers of the Year about their teaching philosophy, their greatest accomplishment in the classroom, how they would make teaching better in Washington state, what advice they would give a new teacher, what motivation they still carry with them from their first day in the classroom, how the COVID pandemic has impacted their work, what school districts can do to better support teachers, and what advice they would give to parents and educators during this time. We were honored to interview:

Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year and Regional Teacher of the Year from Puget Sound Educational Service District 121, who teaches English and Ethnic Studies at Washington High School in the Franklin Pierce School District

Ben Ballew, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Northwest Educational Service District 189, who teaches English at Arlington High School in the Arlington School District

Megan Anderson Reilly, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 105, who teaches Spanish at AC Davis High School in the Yakima School District

Devin Bauer, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Northeast Educational Service District 101, who is a Special Education Department Head and Learning Center teacher at Lakeside High School in the Nine Mile Falls School District

Chenoa Meagher, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 123, who teaches kindergarten at Sagecrest Elementary School in the Kennewick School District

David Buitenveld, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Capital Region Educational Service District 113, who teaches mathematics and is a remote learning coach at Nisqually Middle School in the North Thurston School District

Erin Lark, 2021 Regional teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 112, who science and STEM at iTech Preparatory School in the Vancouver School District

Jackie Hentges, 2021 Regional teacher of the Year from North Central Educational Service District 171, who teaches science at Brewster Middle School in the Brewster School District

David Tracewell, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Olympic Region Educational Service District 114, who teaches English and Media Communications at Klahowya Secondary School in the Central Kitsap School District

 

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Recap: A Listening Session with Voices from the Latino Community

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern

Robert Elizondo (top L), Suzy Diaz (top R), Maria Esther Zamora (bottom L), Miguel Maestas (bottom R)

 

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color in terms of COVID deaths, infections, unemployment, etc. In this LEVinar, Robert Elizondo, Superintendent of the Touchet School District; Suzy Diaz, Director of Collective Impact at Heritage University and convener of Yakima Valley Partners for Education; Maria Esther Zamora, English Language Development teacher at Spokane Virtual Academy; and Miguel Maestas, Housing and Economic Development Director of El Centro de la Raza discuss the challenges Latinos are facing with COVID-19 and what works to effectively educate Latino students. Read More

Recap: Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness in the Time of COVID

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern

 

Jolene Grimes Edwards (L), ChrisTiana ObeySumner (C), Avanti Bergquist (R)

COVID-19 has greatly impacted every aspect of our lives, from working to shopping, our health, and our social lives. However, homeless youth are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. The coronavirus disease further burdens these students who don’t have a permanent home, a place to take online classes, a support system, reliable internet access, food, etc.

In this webinar, Dr. Avanti Bergquist of the Renton School Board, Principal Jolene Grimes Edwards of Neah Bay High School, and social justice advocate ChrisTiana ObeySumner shared stories, personal experiences, and advice on how to best support students experiencing homelessness.

This LEVinar was co-hosted with our partner Building Changes, an organization focused on supporting students experiencing homelessness. Building Changes works across and within the education, health, and housing systems to address the needs of students and families impacted by Washington state’s housing crises. Through research, programming, and advocacy, Building Changes promotes equitable responses to support students and families experiencing homelessness across the state. Read More

Podcast – Tequilla Brownie of TNTP on The Opportunity Myth

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Dr. Tequilla Brownie, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Community Coalitions at TNTP, about their groundbreaking report titled The Opportunity Myth, how she recommends that teachers and schools connect with students during this time of COVID, and what she would change about our education system if there were no budgetary constraints.

TNTP currently works with South Shore PreK-8 in South Seattle, a close partner of League of Education Voters.

 

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Watch our LEVinar on What Students Need Now

These are unprecedented times in Washington state. Most school districts are still doing remote learning and some are transitioning to hybrid learning models. But how are students navigating this historic school year, and how can we best support them now?

In this webinar, we partnered with The Root of Our Youth to assemble a panel of students from across Washington to share how they are doing and how we can help. They also answer your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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The Time for Action on Racial Equity Is Now

By Raymond Fenton
Guest Blogger

 

Across Washington state, most students have already completed little over a month of remote learning. As some adjust to this new normal and begin to settle, others are faced with adjusting to a little more than virtual classrooms and limited social interactions with peers. While we endure COVID-19, we are also witnessing, perhaps, the largest civil rights movement in America’s history.

As protests for Black lives intensify our focus on race and racism, and the pandemic increases strain on our economy and healthcare system, social inequalities across the nation could not be more visible. So where does that leave our most vulnerable in the education system?

That was the topic of Thursday’s virtual event: Racial Equity in Education, where the uniqueness, opportunity, and gravity of this pivotal moment was distinguished. “Now is the time.” That was the charge from Brooke Brown, 2021 WA state Teacher of the Year, as she addressed the audience yesterday. Read More

Podcast – 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown why it is important for students to feel safe and that they belong in school, how she recommends that teachers connect with students during this time of remote learning, and what advice she has for parents during this challenging time.

 

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Watch our LEVinar with Superintendents from Across Washington state on Racial Equity and Going Back to School

As plans for the 2020-21 school year are being finalized, school districts across Washington state are focusing on racial equity while developing updated learning plans, and students, parents, and educators are trying to navigate new systems and expectations.

In this webinar, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Kent School District Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts, Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, Bellingham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Baker, Kennewick School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce, and Davenport School District Superintendent Jim Kowalkowski share how racial equity is being addressed during this historic time, describe what school will look like in their districts for the start of the 2020-21 school year, outline what kinds of support school districts in Washington need from the state as the school year gets underway, and answer questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Watch our LEVinar with WA state Teachers of the Year on What Students Need for Going Back to School

These are unprecedented times in Washington state. School districts are finalizing plans for reopening schools, and many have chosen online and hybrid learning models. But how have the COVID-19 school closures impacted students, and how can we best support them in the fall?

In this webinar, Washington state Teachers of the Year Amy Campbell (2020), Robert Hand (2019), Mandy Manning (2018, and the 2018 National Teacher of the Year), Camille Jones (2017), and Nate Bowling (2016) share what they are hearing from students, parents, and colleagues in their community, share what students need to begin the 2020-21 school year, and answer your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Podcast – Fernell Miller of The Root of Us on What Students Need Now

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Fernell Miller, Founder and CEO of The Root of Us and a physical education teacher in the public school system, what she is hearing from students during this historic time, what it was like for her to navigate school as a Black student, and what she would like to see schools prioritize as the 2020-21 school year begins.

 

  • Take The Root of Us survey here.
  • Watch the student “I Can Return to School When…” video here.
  • Read our recap of the July 21, 2020 Virtual Rally for Students and Families.

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