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Northwest Educational Development Partnership
Northwest Educational Development Partnership
Posted on 09/23/2016

Within the next three to five years our state will face a significant teacher shortage.  In state production, certificated teachers are expected to fall well short of anticipated demand from traditional university preparation programs. 

In preparation the Puyallup School District has proactively entered into partnerships with three organizations: Pacific Lutheran UniversityPierce College, and Northwest Educational Development to create non-traditional routes to teacher certification. The district is hoping to invest in our community and grow our own teaching force in order to solve the upcoming shortages. 

“The partnership with Northwest Education Development is an innovation that allows us to put those with a passion for teaching into classrooms”, explained Ailene Baxter, chief human resources officer.

Northwest Educational Development was created by a team of educational leaders whose goal is to improve the classroom experience through intensive coaching and mentoring. Included are former classroom teachers, administrators, counselors, and teacher educators who have trained new practitioners for more than a decade, (combined with academic and professional course work).

The partnership with Northwest Educational Development is unique to the Puyallup School District. This is one of the many efforts that the Puyallup School District is making to proactively recruit educators.

“We want to recruit the entire state of Puyallup,” said Superintendent Tim Yeomans jokingly. “We want to grow our own teaching force from our community members, our emergency substitute pool, and our para-educators. These folks are already well invested in our community. We are investing in them as well, creating reciprocal relationships that really work well for our community.”

Those enrolled in Northwest Educational Development are actively involved in online course work and receive intensive coaching support, even more so than in a traditional university setting. This opportunity is a one-year, cohort modeled, mentored internship.

This partnership has allowed the district to purchase certification and classroom teaching assignments in shortage areas for significant vacancies.

School Board President Dane Looker said, “This is a double win for our community because we are being proactive by getting these teachers and filling these spots, but it’s also empowering people within our community to aspire for something bigger.”

If interested in applying for one of the Pathway Programs, please contact:
Rhonda Knudson, HR Specialist, (253) 841-8783. Email: