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By Beka Compton
the Times 

Waitsburg School Board Update


January 30, 2020

The Waitsburg School Board met January 16, at the Preston Hall Middle School. Present board members were Ross Hamann, Christy House, Lisa Morrow, and Superintendent Mark Pickel. 

Superintendent Pickel started the meeting by reading a proclamation from Gov. Jay Inlsee, declaring January ‘School Board Recognition Month.’ “Whereas, it is appropriate to recognize school directors as outstanding volunteers and champions for public education, now, therefore, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim January as School Board Recognition Month.”

Three members of the National Honor Society served punch and cookies to all in attendance and presented the school board members with gifts in observance of School Board Recognition Month. Waitsburg Elementary students made posters to express their appreciation for the school board members.

Secondary Principal Stephanie Wooderchak reported that the high school Esports (electronic sports) team is up and running. There are 14 students competing. Waitsburg High School is one of 1,206 league teams across the nation participating through High School Esports League.

Superintendent Pickel reported on behalf of the athletic director. The D-W Combine has started posting transportation, practice and game schedules online each weekend. Representatives from Dayton and Waitsburg school districts are working diligently to help minimize scheduling conflicts and keep the parents and athletes informed of any changes. The schedule can be found on the school websites, and

Elementary Principal Pickel reported that the elementary school is in the second phase of student diagnostics. The information collected from the students during the diagnostics helps educators improve their teaching strategies. 

The elementary school is gearing up for the annual Kids Heart Challenge, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. There will be an assembly on February 14, where the top participants will be recognized. Mrs. Schirm, who is organizing the challenge, has arranged some fun prizes.

Superintendent Pickel reported that levy efforts are going well. He is working with a committee to get informational fliers, signs, and letters out for the public. The school district is still looking for any levy signs from years prior. He also reported that the district is gearing up for yearly audits, including a Consolidated Review which will examine all federal and state funded spending. 

The school board currently has one open seat for District 1. The application can be found on the school district’s website. The current plan is to interview potential candidates at the February meeting.  If no applications are received, the position will stay posted. Chairman Ross Hamann suggested looking at the possibility of an ‘at large’ board and removing the districts.

The Waitsburg School Board will meet again on February 20, at 7 pm. Meetings are always held at the Preston Hall Middle School.


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