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Quincy School Board recognized statewide

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | November 5, 2021 1:00 AM

QUINCY — The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) named the Quincy School Board as a Board of Distinction for 2021, according to a QSD press release.

It is the sixth year in a row the state association, which oversees and trains school boards across the state, has awarded the distinction to the Quincy board.

“Obviously, it’s an honor to have done this six years in a row,” said Quincy School Board Member Chris Baumgartner. “It’s a good evaluation and a good look back at what we’ve done over the year.”

Baumgartner said WSSDA recognized the Quincy School Board for the work it had done during the pandemic to raise the level of student achievement and to clearly and concisely communicate district and board actions and policies.

For example, Baumgartner said the district purchased 700 Wi-Fi hotspots to help get students connected, and in the process of raising the number of students who could connect to online classes and assignments, also managed to increase the district’s graduation rate to 86% from 77%.

“As a result of making sure every kid had the opportunity to learn, the graduation rate went up as well,” he said.

During the pandemic, Baumgartner said the district also reached out to parents and students in what he called “empathy interviews” to find out what teachers and administrators needed to do to help each child succeed.

“The pandemic really made us grow in that area, and we are really proud of that,” he said.

Quincy Superintendent John Boyd highlighted the caliber of the five members of the school board — Baumgartner, Jack Fogelsong, Heath Folks-Lambert, Chad Lower and Tricia Lubach — all of whom Boyd noted are volunteers.

“I feel so lucky to be working with this group of professional people,” Boyd said. “It’s been awesome how they work together, come to consensus and do things for our kids. Our success is based on their orientation to the work.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Boyd added.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.