Superintendent's Update

May/June Edition

Note From the Superintendent

As the 2018-2019 year comes to a close, we have much to celebrate in Ellensburg School District. After meeting with and gathering feedback from a wide variety of staff, students, parents and community members this year, we developed a clear vision for what we desire for our students. We call this vision our Board of Education ENDS. The ESD vision statement is that : “All students in the Ellensburg School District will graduate from high school prepared for life’s opportunities.” Being prepared for life’s opportunities means that students will meet the Board Ends by developing

  1. Strong academic foundations and future ready skills. Students will experience a more thematic, personalized, problem/project based approach to learning. ESD will also continue to set a high priority on early learning.
  2. A vision of success for their future in an ever changing world. Students will experience multiple opportunities to learn about various types of post-secondary experiences through partnering with community members, businesses, career and technical colleges, community colleges and four year colleges.
  3. Positive connections with peers, adults and extracurricular or school sponsored clubs or events at their schools. The use of restorative practices and community circles are central to building this sense of belonging within each school.
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On May 16th, we used these BOE ENDS to celebrate teachers, classified and pro-tech staff, parent and community members who are helping students to meet these desired Board of Education Ends or necessary outcomes for students. The award recipients for each category at this Excellence in Ellensburg Ceremony (Photos) included:

Mount Stuart Teacher of the Year: Cynthia Hillburn

Lincoln Elementary Teacher of the Year: Jen Holmgren

Valley View Elementary Teacher of the Year: Kelie Hyatt

Morgan Middle School Teacher of the Year: Noreen Norfleet

Ellensburg High School Teacher of the Year: Levi Teasley

Mount Stuart Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Sandy Gouge

Lincoln Elementary Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Cindy Sotelo

Valley View Elementary Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Laurie Luce

Morgan Middle School Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Rachel Nesbit

Ellensburg High School Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Joe Bufi

District Office Classified/ProTech Staff of the Year: Cheryl Lym, Lyle Hancock

Mount Stuart Parent/Guardian of the Year: Laura Stephenson

Lincoln Elementary Parent/Guardian of the Year: Gretchen Weller

Valley View Elementary Parent/Guardian of the Year: Sammy Henderson

Morgan Middle School Parent/Guardian of the Year: Pauline Clyburn

Ellensburg High School Parent/Guardian of the Year: Karen Goebel-Winter

Team of the year: Special Programs Team: Marti Hazelwood, Cathy Rutt and Gemma Wolfenbarger and Valley View Third Grade Team: Andi Eylar, Katy Wallace, Liz Preciado and Katy Cavanaugh

Community Member of the Year: Joe Wahle

District-wide Work: BOE END I Academic Foundations

BOE END I: Strong Academic Foundations and Future Ready Skills:

We have had a major focus this year on putting necessary supports in place for our English as a Second Language Learners (ELLs). Some of these steps have included:

  1. OSSI partner Sue Connolly has been advising the district on English Learner (EL) services and programs with an emphasis on 9th grade achievement and Long Term English Learners (LTELs) at the secondary level.
  2. This year, we added an EL teacher to support EL learners at both Mt. Stuart and Lincoln. We will add an additional full time teacher at Mt. Stuart for next year.
  3. EL classes at EHS have been reconfigured to best meet the academic needs of students served.
  4. The District has undertaken an improvement effort to mitigate over-identification of English Learners in Special Services. The referral process now requires an EL teacher's participation, and child guidance teams are using Steve Gill's Critical Data Process tools to assist in determination of language vs. disability.


Our Homeroom “Data Solutions” ESD Dashboard is also officially available for both teachers and administrators to use to monitor the progress of ELs, as well as, all students. We are in the process of creating short step-by-step training videos to help teachers and administrators learn to access this dashboard.

We also fostered district-wide conversations this year about the importance of state standardized test results as a part of a body of evidence to determine the academic progress of students. An assessment flyer was available to principals to share with staff and parents, as needed, to explain our district-wide view of the assessment process. ( Flyer Below)

We also revamped assessment schedules at individual schools so that the time for testing was most efficient and to reduce testing fatigue. We thank all of our teachers and parents for their help with this very important process.State assessments are the only measure that we currently have to help us understand how our students respond to questions related to the Washington state standards, compared to other students of similar ages and grade levels. The student feedback from these assessments will not only be used by teachers to consider for next year's instruction, but at a district level, we will use this information as one of many measures to determine the success of our curriculum and to identify potential areas for improvement.

BOE END II: Vision for the Future: Career Pathways

Some classes at the high school have now been organized into career pathways, so students and their parents can best select classes that align with the special interests of students. (EHS Pathways Below)

Sign up fees required for students to take advantage of the college in the high school program will now be covered by the district. This program allows students to take college level classes at the high school from qualified high school teachers and earn college credit. This program eliminates the need to leave campus.

BOE END III: Positive Connections

Training for staff in facilitating community circles for students within their classrooms has been led by Sarah Augustine, Consultant for the Yakima Conflict Resolution Center. Morgan Middle School staff and students also experienced training from Dr. Bonnie Martinez, RJ Consultant. The use of community circles has not only been beneficial for students, but the use of this process with adults has also increased a sense of belonging for staff. These restorative practices will become embedded next year within the Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS). Next year, staff at schools will continue to work together to build a supportive safety net of interventions that will benefit all students. Grant funds will provide financial support next year for additional PBIS training for staff in ESD.


This has been a great year in ESD. To the ESD 2019 graduating seniors, I share one of my favorite proverbs and the following advice:

“A Cheerful Heart has a Continual Feast.”

1. Assume positive intent in others

2. Maintain an attitude of gratitude daily

3. Build and embrace relationships with folks who may be different from you.

It has truly been a privilege to serve the students, parents and staff in ESD this year. I hope that everyone has a successful end of the year and enjoyable summer.


Jinger Haberer, Superintendent of Ellensburg School District