The Washougal School District inducted its newest school board member, Bruce Westfall, at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.
A teacher in the Camas School District, Westfall will represent the patrons in district three.
Westfall, 62, and his wife, Anita, who is also an educator, have lived in Washougal since 2005 and in Clark County since 1985.
After a career as a newspaper reporter for more than 15 years, Westfall made the switch to education and has been teaching 14 years in Camas at the fifth and sixth grade levels. He has three grown children who attended Evergreen School District schools.
“Teaching has been fun, energizing and challenging…but more importantly, we’ve seen how education can elevate the lives of young people and improve the lives of those around them,” Westfall said in his letter of interest to the board. “I also believe that a good, strong school system can elevate a community as well.”
The Westfalls’ interests in children and education reach far beyond the local area.
They have traveled and worked with kids in places like Romania, Kenya, Uganda and Honduras as well as supported scholarships for students in Central America and Africa.
“People might wonder why a teacher should be on a school board,” Westfall said. “But I think it might be useful to have someone on the board who has worked in a classroom and seen a school system from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Different perspectives should make a school board stronger.”
Dawn Tarzian, superintendent, noted the “tremendous commitment,” made by School Board members.
“The guidance I receive from the board as superintendent is invaluable to the quality of our system and the focus of our educational program,” she said. “Bruce Westfall will bring years of experience in education, journalism and global volunteerism to the goals and vision of our school system.”
The School Board now has five members after spending nearly a year with one or two open positions.
Teresa Lees was named to district one in October.