Thursday Thoughts: Strategic Action Plans, Fall Student Athletes, Contagious Gratitude and More

Well, what another uniquely fabulous week here in Northshore!  As the leaves have been falling, and their bright colors fading, I am reminded that the seasons are both a reassuring cycle of life and predictable change.  We have so much to be grateful for….

Strategic Action Plans

As part of our continuing districtwide commitment to our bold equity driven strategic plan, I have been meeting with school principals and reviewing their Strategic Action Plans for the year. I have finally completed all thirty three meetings and reviewed plans for schools at all grade spans in the district and I must share I am so impressed with the reflective thought and committed work planned for the year. As you may remember, all schools are responsive to Goal 3:Growth for Every Student, Elimination of Outcome and Opportunity Gaps, and one other of the four remaining goals in our district-wide plan. I am confident that we are a better district for this strategically focused work. Thank you to our teachers, principals, SDLTs, support staff, Equity and Diversity Department, and Regional Assistant Superintendents for their work on these plans. I look forward to the mid-year check-in meetings as we celebrate the progress we are making in meeting our bold Imagine the possibilities...

Fall Student Athletes

Verada running on the cross country course

Congratulations to all our fall student athletes as they competed and succeeded at so many levels and in so many sport team endeavors. All together, we had 1,471 high school student athletes competing and 1002 middle school athletes competing this past fall for a grand total of 2,473 secondary student athletes competing.  We also encourage those teams still competing and wish each of them well as the competitions unfold. Such an exciting time to be competing !!

And speaking of competing, in a sequel to a Northshore Inspires segment, I am proud to announce that Verada Ellett made it to compete at Saturday’s WIAA State Cross Country Championships. Not only did she compete, she is the first ever Ambulatory Division Girls State Champion.  According to her Coach Rich Bennett, Verada ran a great race, assisted by her assistant coach Karra Whitmire.  We are so proud of Verada and her accomplishments!  Imagine the possibilities…

November Enrollment

As we review our November enrollment, Masha Figlin, one of our budget and finance analysts, recently prepared a report that shows the actual monthly enrollment (as full-time equivalent, FTE) that was reported at Northshore for the last four years plus this year's current monthly enrollment as of the start of the school year. In addition, the report displays the budgeted annualized average FTE of 22,590 (royal blue line) as well as the updated projected annualized average enrollment of 22,618 (green line) based on a five-year historical average as of October. This is an essential report for us as it tracks our student enrollment to budget and annual projections. This data is important to track as it affects all aspects of our operations including facilities planning, budgeting and all staffing, etc. Looking at this report regularly enables us to monitor and adjust when necessary as the year progresses. Our actual current head count is 23,283 students. Specifically, we have approximately 300 more students this year in a year over year head count. Imagine the possibilities...

Academic Champions

Team photo of Bothell Varsity Squad

Top Row: Ashley Baron, Beatrice Anitei, Nora Hayd, Haedyn Bambolo, Jenna Legault, Avarye Monsef
Bottom Row: Nadia Rios, Lauren Culp, Tessa Hoover, Janée Hall, Alyssa Moran, Jenna Milner

In more amazing student athlete news & accomplishments, our very own Bothell High School Volleyball team, carrying a collective grade point average of 3.77, has been named WIAA 4A Fall State Academic Champions. Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes, teachers, and their coaches. According to Head Coach Marlie Davis, the team will be honored at the State Tournament in Yakima on Nov. 23rd.  We are proud of you!  Imagine the possibilities…

Paul Katz's Retirement

I want to take a moment and share the news of Paul Katz’s retirement with our district family.  Paul began his career in Northshore in 1988 when he was hired by Bob Boesche, Director of Vocational Education at the time, as a print shop employee who could also work alongside the vocational graphics program students that drew enrollment from the high schools.  Bob recalled right from the beginning that Paul showed he was not only technically a whiz, but he could work alongside students as well.  Many a student graduated from the Graphics Arts Program with help and guidance from Paul, and much of that help was on the interpersonal side.

As time passed, Paul became the manager of the print shop as it moved from the basement in Anderson to the Hillcrest Building.  Bob became the Executive Director of Business and Finance and remembers that Paul was always finding a way to not only get new, better, and more sophisticated and efficient equipment, but finding ways to save money; definitely an early innovator.  Paul soon became a leader among peers in other school districts and Northshore began doing contracted work for others that helped us greatly during some tough budget times.  He was not only respected by those he worked with, but by so many in the school buildings and community.  Everyone knew you could count on Paul Katz to literally 'deliver the goods' in so many different ways, and with a 'can do' attitude.

Joe Paperman, our Chief Operations Officer, notes that one thing that always impressed him about Paul was his dedication to helping our students. He always went out of his way to advocate for the unique needs of our students that have been housed in our buildings. Not only would he work with them to make sure they had what they needed, but when other staff might complain about the noise or other disturbances he'd step up to explain how this was part of our mission as a school district. Paul also worked over the years with the Health and Human Services/STAR program for some of our at-risk students.   He made sure they had the facilities they needed to provide the weekend classes in a non-threatening environment - and again, advocated for kids who might not fit the mold of our typical student.  Paul has always been a humble and hard-working employee, and he brought such a dedication and passion to his role as our warehouse and graphics manager - he was truly an educator and advocate for our students.  He will certainly be missed; but not forgotten here in Northshore!  We wish him well in his future seasons…

Gratitude at Westhill

In a Northshore Inspires segment, I recently heard from Westhill Principal Dana Whitehurst about the contagious gratitude spirit abundantly present on their campus.  Dana shared some of the things they are doing at Westhill for this month's virtue of GRATITUDE. According to Dana; “Our 5th graders taught their "families" about gratitude earlier this month. Here is how it is spreading at Westhill...

November: Gratitude is Contagious!  

  • Mr. Lang's 5th graders wrote gratitude letters to recess teachers.
  • Mrs. Olvares' 2nd grade class created a gratitude jar.
  • Miss Pigott's 2nd grade class shared the book, Thank you Omu!  which is all about gratitude.
  • Mr. Fulcher's 5th grade class is taking part in Scholastic's 27 days of thankfulness leading up to Thanksgiving.
  • 5th grade students are giving a speech on what they are most grateful for.
  • Mrs. Edson's 5th grade class started a gratitude journal.
  • Ms. Grindley’s Kindergarten class made posters...”

Simply imagining the possibilities…

Share Your Stories

As you go about your days, and run across positive stories or events that would be of interest, please pass them along to me so that I might share them. I continue to be so amazed at all the positive energy and events that are regularly taking place (in ways both large and small) all across our district and community. With so much of our national news often being negative, I love that we can be that light for our community that leads us in a positive direction and keeps a healthy balance for those young and old.

As I close my remarks tonight, I am oft reminded of the challenge provided by one of my favorite authors, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default." -- J.K. Rowling

Here's wishing you a joyful weekend, not cautiously spent ;>)...

Warmest regards,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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