School Board Recognition Month | Guest Column

Submitted by Danna Diaz, Ph.D.

San Juan Island School District

By proclamation of the governor, January is School Board Recognition Month. It’s a great time to recognize our elected community members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youth. School board members in San Juan Island School District are entrusted by this community with responsibility for an annual budget of $11 million, 768 students, 112 employees and 7 buildings.

School boards are charged with making decisions that can sometimes be quite difficult, or require sifting through a great deal of information. They also bear responsibility for developing a vision that will guide the school district for years to come. Through collaboration as a team, and with school district staff, their governance and advocacy are building the future of education in Washington state.

This January, we’re encouraging all members of the community to thank a board member. Please thank them for volunteering their time and playing a critical civic role that helps form the bedrock of our democracy – public education. As a crucial bridge between the local community and the school district, their efforts are instrumental in helping all of us realize the hopes and dreams we have for the children of our community.

The men and women serving the San Juan Island School District and their years of service are:

Sarah Werling Sandwith, position 1, elected November 2017

Barbara Bevens, position 2, elected November 2017

Ralph Hahn, position 3, six years of service

John Kurtz, position 4, two years of service

Jack McKenna, position 5, six years of service

For more information about the San Juan Island School District School Board, visit

You can find more news on school issues and events at

Thank you for your support.