Help WSD envision its future

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category icon Columns, Opinion

This holiday season is a good time to reflect on all we are thankful for. I am grateful to have been selected to lead Washougal School District as its superintendent and am thankful for the generous spirit of giving I am witnessing in our school and community.

The generosity of the Washougal community, staff and students is wonderful, most notably through the incredible efforts of students and community members to organize Stuff the Bus, a friendly competition with Camas Schools that raises more than 35,000 pounds of food for local families in need.

The level of community support and involvement in schools is something Washougal should be proud of. The Washougal Schools Foundation, Camas-Washougal Community Chest, and Washougal Rotary and Lions groups all do incredible work supporting students and teachers and providing a wealth of resources for our schools.

To ensure our strong bond between schools and community, we need your help to make sure our district vision continues to reflect the hopes of our community. We are engaging in a strategic visioning process we have titled “Vision for the Future!” This process will inform the future direction of our district, helping create authentic, trusting partnerships with staff, students, families and the community. In order to build this vision, we need multiple perspectives on the district.

Community members are invited to participate in an online process called Thoughtexchange, to share ideas about things the district is doing well, things that can be improved and goals for the future. Participants in this system also will have the opportunity to see ideas shared by others and to rate those thoughts, helping us surface the ideas that are most important to consider as we work with the school board to set our vision, mission and goals for the next five years.

Feedback gathered via this process will be shared in stakeholder input sessions this winter, as we meet with parents, staff, students and patrons to distill the feedback into actionable goals.

Please visit the Washougal School District website at to participate.

I look forward to meeting all of you in our schools, at events and around the community this holiday season. I am thankful for the passion this community has for its schools, and for the welcome I’ve received. On behalf of our school community, thank you for your involvement in support of our students, we are excited to work together to see “Washougal Rising.”

Mary Templeton, Ph.D., is superintendent of the Washougal School District.