Community Column: YCS gearing up for successful school year


I am very excited to be joining Yelm Community Schools as your new superintendent. After spending over 25 years serving students in Olympia and Tumwater, I feel honored to be part of the amazing staff at YCS.

As I researched YCS to determine if this was the place I wanted to be part of, I heard one consistent theme. The one thing I heard repeated was that YCS was special because of the people. In my short time here, I have met many staff who are willing to do whatever it takes to help students be successful, lend a hand to colleagues, show up with a great attitude and give their best each day.

Every new school year brings hope, excitement, opportunity and a chance to set new goals. Two areas of focus for Yelm Community Schools this school year will be high academic achievement for all and creating a culture of belonging.

Through rigorous and consistent instruction for all students, we can ensure high academic achievement for all, regardless of the school they attend and the challenges they face.

By creating a culture of belonging, we can ensure an environment where all students and staff feel welcomed, accepted and safe. When we feel a sense of belonging, we are more willing to engage in learning.

Our staff have been working throughout the summer to provide learning opportunities for many of our students. STEMKamp provided science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities for students in grades three through eight. Some of our high school students participated in classes to earn additional credits in the summer. Many students participated in worksite learning opportunities where they earned money and credit at the same time.

Many of our staff have been busy preparing for new staff orientations for our certificated and classified staff, while others have been preparing in-service opportunities for departments like student learning, student support, transportation and many others.

We are very excited to have the rest of our staff and all our students returning to our buildings on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Please visit our school district website,, for information and answers to common questions. You can also contact individual schools to find ways to get involved.

I look forward to an outstanding school year partnering with our staff, families and community to help our students reach their full potential.