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Board appoints Dr. Pecchia Administrative Designee
Board appoints Dr. Pecchia Administrative Designee
Posted on 01/09/2020
President Yang and Ms. Konsmo

Board Highlights for January 6, 2020

During District Highlights, Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox reminded directors the School Employees Benefits Board Program, also known as SEBB, began administering health insurance and other benefits to all employees in school districts across Washington State on January 1, 2020.

To ensure the several thousand employees of our district were informed and prepared for this change, members of the Puyallup School District’s Business Department conducted a comprehensive communication campaign including a variety of opportunities for employees to learn what was taking place – and how they could navigate the changes.

“From department website updates, guest speakers at meetings, professional and informative video clips, to the many in person support sessions held at benefit fairs, and persistent but effective text reminders,” said Fox, “the folks in the Business Department thought of everything to make sure district staff experienced as smooth of a transition as possible.”

To recognize the people responsible for such work, Assistant Superintendent Corine Pennington addressed the board and thanked the following:

Business OfficeRachel Matthiesen

Shari Gesner

Cathy Repp

Ruth Hanson

Carol Gorman

Pam Heath

Haley Konsmo

Julie Beckman

Next, Fox introduced Director of Student Services Char Krause. Director Krause and members of the Student Services Department oversee school safety and security, emergency preparedness, risk management, and student support. They serve a key role in ensuring essential services are provided to students and families who need intervention to help them be successful.

School Resource OfficersKrause also oversees district Campus Security and School Resource Officers (SROs). Three Pierce County Sheriff’s Officers and three Puyallup Police Officers work full-time in Puyallup schools as SROs. Each is assigned to a high school and feeder schools. They respond to situations at their assigned schools that would require law enforcement, provide consultation, and provide training around the district.

The SROs provide training for school staff regarding lockdowns and school security. They are visible in the schools and interact to maintain positive relations with students and the community. For example, recently, SROs participated in the “Shop With A Cop” program.

To honor this team, Director Krause introduced each of the directors, including:

Deputy Bregel

Deputy Sutherland

Deputy Seavey

Sergeant Hansen

Sergeant Pihl

Officer Hines

Officer Drasher

Officer KetterDirector Krause then paid tribute to out-going SRO, Mark Ketter. “Officer Ketter, with the Puyallup Police Department has served the students, staff and families in the Puyallup School District for over ten years, and I can assure you, we are the better for it,” said Krause. “Officer Ketter has been a leader in school safety, not only in our district, but in our county and in our state.

Mark is the kind of person who is ‘all in.’ He has demonstrated real ownership in this district and the relationships he has built over the years makes him feel like part of the family, because he is part of the family. His commitment to service is commendable and we are so grateful to have had him on our team.”

Finally, Fox shared about The Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) and a special award. WERA is an organization of professionals dedicated to improving the practice of instruction, assessment, evaluation, conducting and applying educational research, and using data to inform instructional decisions.

“The Puyallup School District has been well represented during conferences and in publications,” said Fox, “in fact Dr. Glenn Malone is a past president of the organization.

Chief Assessment and Accountability Officer Glenn Malone was then invited to bring a team of award recipients to the podium for introduction.

“In 2017 the Puyallup School District saw the need for easy and quick formative assessments of the Common Core Math Standards,” said Malone. “Using the Smarter Balanced Consortium’s Math Claim 1 Item Specification task models as a guide we created short, one page, Math Quick Checks for each target at every grade - about 40 formative assessments for each. 

In 2018, we expanded the Math Quick Checks to include first and second Grade Quick Checks, while also adding Quick Checks for Claims 2-4 to the High School collection. In addition, we converted the entire collection of Math Quick Checks to Schoology so that the Quick Checks could be given and scored electronically.

Because of the success of this multiyear project we have shared these tools freely across the state and have had over 7,800 teachers access the Math Quick Checks to date.

As a result of this success, the team was recognized by winning this year’s WERA Product Award, recognizing outstanding professional products created across the state. Because of the stringent requirements and rigorous standards set to win this award, our team is only the second winner of this award over this last decade.”

Dr. Malone then introduced each of the team members and noted the work each provided, including:

WERA TeamJeremy Roy

Mary-Elizabeth Gendreau

Melissa Ryan

Amy Query

Tracie Shepard

Nick O’Neill

Sergio Ulloa

Sara Holt

Dani Baker

Michele Bledsoe

Almai Malit

Stephanie Clarno

Sue Andre

Haley Konsmo

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 3143 - District Notification of Juvenile Offenders
  • Policy 3144 - Release of Information Concerning Student Sexual and Kidnapping Offenders

Directors unanimously approved the policy updates as recommended.

Report: Operations – Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello presented directors with a recommendation to consider naming a new warehouse storage facility located at the South Hill Support Campus the, Darrell Brown Support Building.

The district’s South Hill Support Campus is home to many support facilities that support teaching and learning. The campus has two 12,000 sq. ft. warehouses that support the district with storage of materials for food service, EdTec, custodial, and teaching and learning.

“For many years the district stored furniture for students and staff at the Firwood property,” said Casello. “The decision was made to surplus the Firwood property due to its location and lack of facilities and construct a small warehouse to store the district’s furniture. The 3,800 sq. ft. facility is located at the South Hill Support Campus which allows staff to be more efficient in serving all facilities with furniture due to its central location and proximity to the warehouse team.”

Casello provided directors with biographical information on Darrell Brown stating, “He was a warehouse employee for the district for 40 years. He began as a custodian, becoming the Facilities Operations Manager at Maplewood Elementary through 1991. He transitioned to logistics services, working as a driver, then as the warehouse coordinator, and finally as the warehouse foreman. He was the foreman for 12 years, where he served with a positive attitude and exceeded everyone’s expectations to go the extra mile.”

Directors will have several weeks to consider this proposal and will have the opportunity to take action at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, February 3, 2020.

Report: Business Services – Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe shared financial statements for October and November 2019.

Marcoe presented the following key message for October 2019 Financial Statements:

  • The Operating Budget has been added to the General Fund reports.  The percent of budget calculations are now based on the Operating Budget.
  • The General and Debt Service Funds are now in the fall property tax collection phase. As expected, fund balance spiked in October due to the receipt of $9.7 million and $17.7 million in the General and Debt Service Funds, respectively.
  • The Capital Projects, ASB, Debt Service, Transportation Vehicle and Private Purpose Trust Funds are all operating as expected.

Key messages about November 2019 Financial Statements include:

  • November is the last month of substantial receipts for fall property tax collections. Approximately $1.6 million, $3.0 million, and $63,000 was received for the General, Debt Service, and Capital Projects Funds, respectively. 
  • As of November, the Debt Service Fund has an ending fund balance of $31.7 million. This balance is expected to decline significantly in December due to the district’s semi-annual bond payment, including principal and interest.
  • The Transportation Vehicle, Capital Projects, Private Purpose Trust and ASB Funds are all operating as expected.

To view October 2019 Financial Statements, click here.

To view November 2019 Financial Statements, click here.

Action – Director of Instructional Leadership for Career and Technical Education Maija Thiel recommended the implementation of the Clover Park Technical College 13th Year Program starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

Having presented this proposal to the Board of Directors at their meeting in December, Dr. Thiel reviewed the key points of the program for consideration.

Clover Park Technical College has partnered with the Puyallup School District Career and Technical Education Department to provide options for the seamless transition of Puyallup School District students to post-secondary educational opportunities related to specific career fields.

The Instructional Leadership Department will share considerations related to an expanded opportunity, a 13th Year Program, which would be available to all graduating seniors. Considerations include a partnership between Clover Park Technical College and the Puyallup School District in a 13th Year Program for transitioning students into one free year of college if they demonstrate any financial need. The application portion of the program would open during the 2019-2020 school year.

Directors approved the partnership.

Action: Board of Directors – School Board President Kathy Yang presented a motion of amend the superintendent’s 2019-2020 contract. Yang presented the following:

The action item is to amend Dr. Yeomans’s contract to allow him to step away from day to day duties. I know this decision has come as a surprise to many of you, but I want you to know that this is something that Dr. Yeomans and the board have discussed for months regarding transition to the new superintendent. And this decision was not based on his capabilities or performance.

Under this leadership, our district saw significant improvement across the board. His understanding of school finances and his ability to prepare and plan for future challenges made him an exceptional superintendent and most of all, he always desired to do what is best for the students and families of Puyallup.

Because of that, he expressed a desire to fulfill all his duties as a superintendent and made it clear that He would do whatever this board asked of him.

He knew that critical decisions will need to be made in the early months of this year to plan for the next school year and beyond and he believed the newly hired superintendent should lead that discussion for those decisions.

From his past experience, he knew it would be a better, smoother transition for him to step aside to give the new superintendent the space he or she needs to establish their leadership position and he was willing to do that.

Initially we had considered that this take place in February, but because the selection of a new sup the size of Puyallup and the administration transition that go with it is a complex and involved process, we agreed that January may be better so that the board, district administrators and the community can focus on the process of selecting his successor and the changes to come.

In the next two weeks we will be reviewing the applications that have been submitted for the position of superintendent, and we will have an open interview and we invite everyone in the community to come January 25, and we really encourage participation, we would like to hear feedback from all the stakeholders.

Our goal is to select the very best person to lead this great district that we have. In the meantime, we have great confidence in Dr. Pecchia and the district administrative team to continue the good work of this district.

We have a great community here and this is the time where we need to come together to move forward to pick the very best candidate and to continue to focus on improving student learning and achievement and I have great confidence and optimism and we can do so.

The motion to amend the superintendent’s 2019-2020 contract was approved with a 4-0 vote with one abstention.

Action: Board of Directors – School Board President Kathy Yang read a resolution, noting the following: “After more than seven years of service to the students and families of the Puyallup School District, Superintendent Dr. Tim Yeomans is retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and the Board of Directors wishes to make known its deep appreciation for Dr. Yeomans’s passion, commitment, leadership and vision for educating the children of our community.

Dr Vince PecchiaThe Board of Directors desires to appoint Dr. Vincent Pecchia as the board’s Administrative Designee. The board also wishes to designate the Chief Operating Officer the authorization during this interim period of time to sign on behalf of the district such documents as may be necessary for property or facilities purposes that do not require the signature of the Superintendent.”

The resolution was approved with a 4-0 vote with one abstention.

To view a copy of this resolution, click here.

Director Romero thanked Dr. Yeomans for his work. “Over the last couple of years, for those that don’t know, I have actually done a lot with the school district in helping prepare for this position and Dr. Yeomans opened me up to plenty of opportunities to learn and be prepared to help make decisions right from the get go should I be elected so I really appreciate that. The board is optimistic about the superintendent search and looks forward to preparing for new leadership,” said Romero.

Director Kayaoglu said, “Finding myself in this particular situation is not easy. I take the role of public representation and public trust very seriously. Issues of transparency, honesty, and accountability are high on my list. I need to live up to my standards.

We cannot just talk about Dr. Yeomans, but at the same time, we need to say, he is like any leader - he makes some decisions and there are some consequences of the decisions.

This is a good district, this is not a great district. We have lots of problems and some of the problems stem from his leadership. We are talking about a district leader that the teachers say they don’t have confidence.

We have a culture that is fractured, that’s not healthy, that’s not open, transparent, encourage honesty and accountability. At the same time, I wasn’t in this position until a month ago. I don’t know what kind of feedback he got from the board - to make sure he is getting the message. I feel that some of the decision making, and transparency, and honesty as a board, maybe we can do a little bit better.

But I cannot abstain from the decision. It is not on the merit of the decision themselves but process through which we came to that particular point.

My abstaintion to Dr Pecchia stepping into this – and I appreciate that he is taking the challenge and stepping into this particular position - but we need to be more honest and transparent about how certain decisions have been made. I also acknowledge that some of the decisions precede me. And I’m not in a position to speak comfortably on that decision and since this is a very important decision and I’m not comfortable owning the decision, I’m just going to say the honest thing is for me to say I’m abstaining from this particular change in the leadership at this point.”

Director Names thanked President Yang for her leadership, Dr. Pecchia for stepping into the role, and her colleagues, Directors Romero and Kayaoglu for meeting with legislators.

She went on to say, “I’m really proud of the work that Dr. Yeomans has done and the legacy that he has left for us. We should be feeling very privileged by all the things we have to now catapult ourselves from.

He’s established a district that is capable of thriving . . . as we move through this transition and identify new leadership I know we are all committed collaboratively to doing what is best for our community, and our staff, and our families, and most importantly our students’ education.”

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

Upcoming meeting – The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2020, at Ballou Junior High, 9916 – 136th Street East, Puyallup, WA 98373. To see a calendar of all board meetings click here.