Fall 2019 edition

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Regional Teacher of the Year: Analisa McCann

Her passion for the classroom comes naturally.

Growing up in Tumwater, Analisa McCann accompanied her mother to school every Sunday. Yes, Sunday.

Her mother, Kathy McCann, still a teacher in the Tumwater School District, visited her classroom every Sunday to prepare for the coming week. Kathy’s example left an indelible mark on her daughter, who now leads her own classroom at Broadway Elementary in the Central Valley School District.

Now, a couple of decades later, Analisa is a first-grade teacher earning her own rave reviews. “Analisa has been an active member of our school leadership team and a driving force to spearhead the Readiness to Learn initiative in our School Improvement Plan,” says Principal Lori Johnson. “She has led book studies to support trauma-informed practices and she created a welcome day for new teachers.”

So, what do you call a teacher who exudes energy, inspires colleagues and promotes rigor in the classroom?

You call her the Regional Teacher of the Year. Read more...

Clock Hours, Course Registration move to pdEnroller

Over the summer NEWESD 101 migrated its clock hours and course registration system to a new platform known as pdEnroller. Read more...

Superintendent's Column: Life as Educators - Embrace our responsibility; recognize our privilege

The beginning of a new school year. As one of the finest educators I have ever known – Dr. Gary Livingston – said, very few professions entail the opportunity to annually begin anew.

So again, we do.

As the education professionals who serve the more than 100,000 students who attend public, private or public charter schools in our shared region, it seems wise that we think deeply about what we owe them over the course of this, and every, school year. Read more...

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Jerry McDermott - NEWESD 101's Go-to Guy

It was probably inevitable that Jerry McDermott would eventually find his way into education. It was in his blood, though he didn’t realize it until his first career was already under way.

Growing up in the Yakima Valley, education was a common topic in the McDermott household. His dad was a chemistry and physics teacher in Prosser, while Jerry was a student in nearby Grandview.

As high school graduation neared, nightly dinner conversation turned to college. It was not a question of if; only a question of where. Jerry voted for Western Washington University. Dad voted for Washington State University and Mom voted for Gonzaga University. Mom won.

Jerry packed his bags for Spokane, figuring it would be a temporary, four-year stop on the way to an accounting career. Then, four years somehow became 40. Read more...

New Rules for Paraeducators

Starting with the 2019-20 school year, school districts are required to provide training on the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) for all instructional paraeducators.

Four days of training are required, with the first two (paid by the state) completed in 2019-20.

NEWESD 101 will offer five trainings throughout the year:

Sept. 26-27, 2019: Chewelah Peak

October 28-29, 2019 and November 25-26, 2019: Both at NEWESD 101

March 2-3, 2020: Jennings Elementary in Colfax

May 26-27, 2020: Davenport School District

Please visit for registration.

Threat Assessment Program Expands

NEWESD 101 is pleased to announce the appointment of Alise Mnati as a new regional threat assessment coordinator. She joins Leon Covington, who launched the agency’s threat assessment program in Spokane County a year ago. Read more...

Attention First-Year Teachers

The Spokane chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma is offering stipends to first-year teachers for the purchase of games, books, art supplies, manipulatives and other classroom items. Awards of $200 are available.

The application (found at is easy to complete; deadline is November 1, 2019. If you have questions, contact Connie Jay at 509-747-0988, or text 509-688-4244.

Science Leads the Way

Don’t be fooled by the name. It may be called Improvement Science, but it is about more than changing the science classroom. It is an initiative dedicated to systemic change: transforming methods and culture to enhance the entire academic experience. Read more...

Northport Does It Again

Graduates in the Northport High School Class of 2019 headed off to college this fall with an extra spring in their step – thanks to some extra dollars in their school accounts.

At graduation last spring, the Northport Dollars for Scholars program gave more than $27,000 to 14 grateful students. In addition, another $8,000 was awarded to previous graduates in their second year of college and beyond.

The Dollars for Scholars program, composed of alumni and community volunteers, has been presenting scholarships to local students since 1990. Northport again shows it is a community that cares.

About focus

Focus is published by the Superintendent of NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101. Focus is published to provide current information about NEWESD 101-sponsored and co-sponsored programs and issues of educational significance to staff in the 59 public school districts, 45 state-approved private schools and two charter schools receiving administrative and instructional support services from NEWESD 101.

Comments, questions or suggestions should be sent to the editor.

Fall 2019

Volume 34, Number 1

Board of Directors: Emmett Arndt, Kathy Bumgarner, J. Rand Lothspeich, Sally Pfeifer, June Sine, Chuck Stocker, Phil Champlin

Superintendent: Michael Dunn

Editor: Steve Witter

Contributing Writer/Designer: Tracy Poindexter-Canton