HIghlights of the School Board Meeting
Highlights of the PSD School Board meeting
Posted on 01/08/2019

Highlights of the PSD School Board meeting: January 7, 2019


At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 7, the Puyallup School District Board of Directors heard an update from Dessie Evans Elementary Principal Kevin Hampton and Assistant Principal Kris Diamond.

Dessie Evans lead team

Diamond presented the draft of a philosophy statement which emphasizes “Access and Success for all students.” Hampton shared that Dessie Evans will have a schoolwide AVID focus. Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) strategies are used throughout the district and will be foundational for Dessie Evans staff.


Hampton presented foundational areas of focus including Professional Learning Communities, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Dual Language, and Family Engagement. “You will see we have been very intentional about leadership in putting our lead team together,” said Hampton. “We believe lead team members will become experts in these -areas.”


The newly formed lead team was introduced to the board. These include:


- Sandi Ahlers

- Angela Albrecht

- Lisa Benjamin

- Jacqueline Bridges

- Nancy Ellis

- Kristin Hill

- Veronica Melton

- Katherine Snowden

- Kelli VanScyoc-Gomez

- Karina Wheeler

- Holly Whitehead

- Crystal Widmann

Next, Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman recognized Director of Instructional Leadership for Athletics, Health and Fitness Jim Meyerhoff for his recent induction to the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. On November 3, 2018, Meyerhoff was honored for his outstanding work as a wrestling coach.

Jim Meyerhoff

Jim Meyerhoff is the fifth person associated with Puyallup School District to be honored as an inductee. He joins Ray Barnes (PHS coach), George Wilfong (PHS coach), Jim Meyerhoff Sr. (PHS alum), and Paul Greeley (PHS alum).


Meyerhoff served as wrestling coach at Emerald Ridge High School from 2000 to 2015. He graduated from PHS in 1987.

Directors and audience gave Meyerhoff a standing ovation for this accomplishment.


Board Policy Updates – Directors were presented with the second reading of school board policies which have been revised due to legislative changes, suggestions by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), or to implement district efficiencies and effective use of available resources.

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with a review of the changes being recommended.

Policy 2190 – Highly Capable Programs 

Directors approved the changes as recommended.


  • Operations: Executive Director of Capital Technology Randy Averill presented a report regarding technology integrated in the schools being built as part of the 2015 bond. Because learning and instruction are increasingly dependent on technology, the district is taking steps to facilitate a modern learning environment in the new school, as well as facilitating future enhancements. “Retrofitting technology in existing schools has always provided unique challenges, including new advances in network technology for increased bandwidth and capacity using fiber networks, as opposed to copper or Ethernet on future upgrades will be less intrusive to the construction environment.”


    To see the slides used in this presentation click here.

  • Instructional Leadership: Director of Instructional Leadership Amanda Kraft provided the directors with an update of initiatives related to professional development. A focused and sustainable professional development program was implemented at the start of the 2016-17 school year. Since that time, the professional development program has grown substantially, with classes being offered most Wednesday afternoons for certificated and classified staff. Kraft noted 1,294 employees have attended professional learning opportunities offered by the district, thus far, this school year. Impressed with efforts that have gone forth to directly support the growth of our teachers, Superintendent Tim Yeomans noted, “There are places that say they are doing professional development. There are very few places anywhere in the Puget Sound that are doing it to the extent that we are doing it here.”


    Assistant Superintendent Vince Pecchia then shared an update on the before and after school childcare program implemented at the start of the 2017-18 school year using the provider, Right At School. The RAS program currently serves over 1,200 students at all elementary schools across the district. “We recently had an opportunity to meet with RAS leadership and learned that our net promoter score which measures customer experience of PSD families enrolled is 67,” said Pecchia. “Anything above 50 is considered “excellent” and 70 is considered “world class,” so our families are doing quite well and RAS is doing quite well in supporting our families.”


    To see the slides used in this presentation click here.


  • Operations: Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello presented a recommendation for the naming of a new support campus building which will house the Puyallup Digital Learning program, Childfind Program, the Advance program, Highly Capable Headquarters, and the Puyallup Special Services staff. The district currently leases property for most of these programs. Construction of this site will allow the district to


  • The recommendation from a naming committee is the Kessler Center. The property was purchased in 1986 from Donald and Edith Kessler. Their daughter, Gayle Shenk, was raised in the what many district employees referred to as “little red house” which served as a Science Resource Center for several years. She graduated from PHS and worked for Puyallup Special Services and the PSD Transportation Department.


Casello will return to the Board of Directors on January 22, 2019, to learn of their decision on this recommendation.

Action Item: Core instructional materials for 6-12 English Language Arts – Directors approved a recommendation from the Instructional Materials Committee as presented by Director of Instructional Leadership, K-12 Literacy, Curriculum and Instructional Materials Tracy Pitzer.

SpringBoard ELA by College Board will be purchased for grades 6-12 English and Language Arts courses.

Human Resources Report – The Human Resources report approved by the school board can be found on the HR webpage here

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, at Aylen Junior High located at 101 – 15th Street NW, Puyallup, WA 98371. This will be the final board meeting held at Aylen Junior High. Beginning second semester, meetings will be held at Glacier View Junior High.