FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – When people in Spokane were asked what they wanted to see in the next superintendent of Spokane Public Schools, they came up with a laundry list of attributes, but one consistently rose to the top: innovation. Shelley Redinger, the woman hired to lead Washington’s second-largest district starting July 1, has a history of changing the culture and operation of the districts she has headed, even though she’s only 44. Read more
Spokane School District Resolution No. 2011-20
About this measure
This is a proposed three-year property tax levy.
Voters in District 81 are being asked to approve an excess levy of $4.46 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which would raise an estimated $217.5 million annually for maintenance and operations beginning in 2013 to supplement the district’s state funding.
The school district’s current levy of $3.94 per $1,000 of assessed property value is expiring.
If approved by voters, the owner of a $150,000 home, for example would pay $669 per year.
A copy of the Spokane School Board’s resolution authorizing this levy request can be found here.
Information about the levy compiled by District 81 can be found here.
Spokane Public Schools District 81
• June 1888-Feb. 1889 Bruce Wolverton • Feb. 1889-June 1889 E.C. Houston • July 1889-June 1899 David Bemiss • July 1899-June 1903 J.F. Saylor • July 1903-June 1908 J.A. Tormey • July 1908-June 1916 Bruce Watson • July 1916-June 1943 Orville Pratt • July 1943-June 1957 John Shaw • Aug. 1957-July 1965 William Sorenson • Oct. 1965-June 1972 Albert Ayars • July 1972-June 1980 Walter Hitchcock • July 1980-June 1993 Gerald Hester • July 1993-June 2001 Gary Livingston • July 2001-June 2007 Brian Benzel • July 2007-June 2012 Nancy Stowell Read more
The Spokane Public Schools Foundation will hold its annual Rockin’ Art fundraiser Friday. Works of art created by students, teachers and local artists are on display and up for purchase. A silent auction features art created by select elementary, middle and high school students, and a live auction will feature five pieces. Read more
The next Spokane Public Schools superintendent is expected to be paid about $17,000 more than the current district leader. The school board plans to approve Shelley Redinger’s contract at Wednesday’s board meeting. Her total compensation – salary and benefits – is $240,000. Current Superintendent Nancy Stowell, whose last day is June 30, retires as the 19th-highest-paid superintendent in Washington with total compensation of $222,906. Read more
A Virginia school administrator with deep ties to Eastern Washington will be the next superintendent for Spokane Public Schools. The school board decided on Shelley Redinger Saturday morning, school officials said. Redinger will replace Superintendent Nancy Stowell, who will retire at the end of June. Read more
Shelley Redinger has been named as the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent, school officials announced today. Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ superintendent finalists – Shelley Redinger and Alexander Apostle – were in town this week, where community leaders, area residents and district employees grilled them about their past and plied them for hints about their leadership style should they become the district’s next leader. More than 100 community members attended one or both of the forums held Wednesday and Thursday at Spokane middle schools. Read more
One of the three finalists for the job of Spokane Public Schools superintendent withdrew his name from consideration after school board members asked for more answers about a controversy in his past. When a recruiter called Gregory Firn, a schools superintendent in Wadesboro, N.C., on Sunday, the candidate told the recruiter that taking his name out of the running was better than rehashing events from the past. Read more
After much conversation, deliberation and interviewing, Spokane Public Schools’ board has narrowed down the search for the next superintendent to three finalists. Alexander Apostle, of Missoula; Shelley Redinger, of Fredericksburg, Va.; and Gregory Firn, of Wadesboro, N.C.; will meet with the community and school staff at forums April 10, 11 and 12. Read more
The Mead High School Dance Team will put its best foot forward March 30-31 when the group heads to Anaheim, Calif., for the USA National Dance Competition. The Mead dancers are Abbie Magee, Lunden Nugen, Kali Bradford Jenae Schrader, Emily Salzl, Mara Cole, Betsey Steinert, India Halliburton-Link, Alli Stauffacher, Kylie Booth, Tricia Findley, Alex Christensen, Lauren Brink, Madi Royal, Shelby Steele, Taylor Schwartz, Nicky Senn, Michelle Chapel, and Danielle Turner. Their coach is Tonya Axworthy. Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ board has narrowed down the superintendent search to six semifinalists. The names are being kept confidential. However, school officials said the six people are all from outside the district and are a mix of men and women in various positions across the country. Read more
More than 75 percent of Spokane Public Schools students are sporting the mortarboard after four years in high school, a preliminary review of the district’s graduation rates shows. That’s up from an on-time graduation rate of slightly more than 60 percent in 2007-’08 and up nearly 7 percentage points since last year, when the district began using a federal guideline to calculate graduation rates. Superintendent Nancy Stowell attributed the improvement to “a shift in expectation, culture and some viable interventions.” Read more
Last June 6, Michael Miller, a teacher at Shadle Park High School, wrote a series of email messages regarding school board candidate – now school board member – Deana Brower. According to a complaint filed with state officials, Miller described Brower in one note as “INCREDIBLE.” In another, he urged a teacher at Lewis and Clark to invite Brower to meet with teachers there. In another, he wrote to Jenny Rose, president of the Spokane Education Association, granting her permission to send a message he’d written on behalf of Brower to “other buildings” to help them arrange events. Read more
Northwest Christian Schools drama students will perform “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” tonight at 7 in the Northwest Christian High School Chapel, 5104 E. Bernhill Road in Colbert. Read more
A new program aimed at helping Spokane Public Schools’ failing seventh- and eighth-graders is not the fix school officials had hoped. Individual Credit Advancement Now, or ICAN, was created by district administrators and implemented in November. The goal was to identify students failing math or language arts and require them to stay after school for tutoring until they are back on track. Read more
The Mead High School theater department will perform the classic comedy “You Can’t Take It With You” in the Mead High School Performing Arts Theatre, beginning next Thursday at 7 p.m. Performances continue March 2 and March 6-8 at 7 p.m. The play tells the story of the freethinking Sycamore family, and how their “normal” daughter, Alice, falls in love with the son of a wealthy business owner. Alice worries her eccentric grandfather, along with the ballerina-wannabe who makes candy, a printer who plays the xylophone and a playwright who has yet to finish a single play in eight years, will make a bad impression on Tony, yet he is charmed by them. Read more
Integrity, a sense of humor, honesty. It’s not a dream date wish list. Those are just a few of the character traits community members want to see in the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent, according to recruiters. Read more
Central Valley School District employees waved brightly lettered signs reading “Thank you” at passing motorists in Spokane Valley on Thursday to show appreciation to voters who helped pass the levy. “We take the extra effort to stand out on the corner to get people to vote, and I just thought it was important to take the extra effort and stand out there and say thank you,” said Central Valley High School Principal Mike Hittle, who came up with the idea. Read more
Students at Mountainside Middle School in the Mead School District will help fill the shelves at the Spokane Humane Society and keep dogs and cats fed during the winter months. Science teacher Jim Louie and his students have collected food, cat litter and money to give to the shelter and will present the donations to the Humane Society today. Louie has done the community service project with his students for the past 15 years, collecting more than $25,000 and nearly 65,000 pounds of food, litter and treats. Read more
The Mead High School Orchestra will celebrate friendship and love at the second annual Musical Heart Strings event on Friday at Mead High School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The occasion will feature orchestral selections from “Beauty and the Beast,” “West Side Story,” “Aladdin” and “Titanic.” While guests are entertained by the orchestra, they will also have an opportunity to enjoy a fashion show, with Mead students modeling clothes by local retailers. There also will be desserts and a silent auction. Items up for bid include wines, pet items, gift certificates to restaurants and for massages, and a movie-themed basket. Read more
OLYMPIA – Faced with a rapidly growing number of requests for public records, the Spokane School District wants to charge the public for the cost of locating and preparing those records. Mark Anderson, associate superintendent, said District 81 wants to pass on the “reasonable costs” of complying with public records requests, which have tripled over the last three years and now cost the district an estimated $70,000 a year. A bill that would allow districts all over the state to do that received a brief hearing this week in the Senate budget committee, but in a fashion that has some government watchdogs criticizing the process. … Read more
Only 24 Spokane residents attended two community forums to express their opinion about the desired qualities of the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent. Nevertheless, the two recruiters hired by the district said they learned much about what the community wants. The national search for a new superintendent was launched earlier this month to replace Nancy Stowell, who is retiring June 30. The search firm hired by the district’s board, Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, led the community forums on Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more
A lawsuit that South Hill neighbors hoped would prevent the move of Jefferson Elementary School has been thrown out. The case was dismissed by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt on a technicality. The opposition – Hart Field Preservation Organization – failed to meet a 30-day deadline to appeal the district’s decision to move the school from its current location at 37th Avenue and Grand Boulevard to 37th and Manito Boulevard. Read more
Court was in session for the legal studies students at Lewis and Clark High School on Jan. 18, during a mock trial in the Moot Courtroom at Gonzaga University’s School of Law. The mock trial is an annual end-of-semester project that is “always fun, exciting, very competitive and sometimes emotional,” said Dave Jackson, LC’s legal studies teacher, in an email. The Jan. 18 trial included a complicated story of underage drinking; a mix-up with police officers; and the dire consequences that could result in a guilty judgment. Spokane attorney Matt Sanger presided as the judge. Read more
The Mead School District will introduce local residents to the future of education on Wednesday at the STEM+ Open House, at the Mead High School theater, beginning at 6:30 p.m. “Imagine It – A Night to Celebrate STEM+ Education” is an opportunity for parents, students and community members to learn about the STEM+ (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program. Current sixth-graders can learn about seventh-grade STEM+ academic and after-school programs; middle school students can learn about what STEM+ programs are offered at the high school; and current sophomores can learn about Mead School District’s new Riverpoint Academy, opening this fall. At the Riverpoint Academy, Mead juniors and seniors will have an opportunity to take STEM+ courses and receive college credit from Eastern Washington University, Washington State University or Community Colleges of Spokane. Read more
School levies are often associated with K-12 programs, such as sports, art and music. But the community-supported portion of a school district’s budget – a local tax – also helps pay for hundreds of jobs within a school district, including teachers, coaches, bus drivers, secretaries and janitors. Read more
A national search for a new Spokane Public Schools superintendent will start after the holidays, school officials announced Thursday. The school board’s decision comes just one week after Nancy Stowell announced she’s retiring effective June 30. Read more
During her final six months as Spokane Public Schools superintendent, Nancy Stowell plans to write a retirement wish list on a big piece of paper that will hang on the back of her office door. On Thursday, she rattled off a few items she already has in mind: “I want to spend time with my husband. I want to learn how to speak fluent French. I want to learn to play the piano. I want to cook.” Read more
Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Stowell announced her resignation at the school board meeting Wednesday night. Her last day will be June 30. Stowell has worked in the district for more than 40 years, and became interim superintendent in 2007 and superintendent in 2008 after a national search. Read more
An October debate for school board and mayoral candidates at Ferris High School was promoted as student-led and -run, from start to finish. But few, if any, of the questions were written by students; instead, many were submitted by a handful of adults with ties to the Republican Party, leaving at least two candidates who took part feeling duped, they said. Read more
Students at Madison Elementary School showed how much they care for classmate Snezhana Dedkov by competing against one another to raise money for her. In October, Snezhana was in an accident that left her severely burned, and she’s been at the burn unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, her parents by her side. Recently she was moved to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. Read more
Bored with his West Valley High School classes, Harrison Calligan thought skipping school with friends might be more challenging. The teen figured out how to block the school’s numbers from his home phone so his mother couldn’t be alerted to his absence, and after lunch he’d leave school. Read more
Shadle Park High School’s drama department will perform “The Outsiders,” a story about the “Greasers” and the “Socs,” two groups of teenagers on the opposite sided of the track and the tensions rising between them, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Set in a small town in the Midwest, the production is a powerful tale of how the Socs use their money to bully the Greasers and rule the school, and the Greasers, beaten up, often in trouble and ignored by their parents, can’t do a lot to stop it. But, in the end, the message is clear: the fighting must stop. Henry Seipp, Shadle’s drama director, said in an email, “The Shadle community expects a lot out of their high school’s performing arts program and this show delivers!” Read more
The Cheney High School Blackhawks Marching Band, made up of 95 students who have each logged hundreds of hours of marching, music, drill and color guard practice, recently completed a winning competition season.The Blackhawks were fourth place in the Auburn, Wash., Veterans Day Marching Band Championship; third place in the Northwest Marching Band Competition in Hillsboro, Ore.; second place at the Sounds of Thunder Competition at Joe Albi Stadium; and second place in the Cavalcade of Bands in Kennewick. Read more
Madie Laws, a Central Valley High School sophomore, isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up, but she knows she wants to do something in the medical field. To help get her there, Laws is taking a new class taught by Phil Plesek, principles of biomedical sciences, which studies various health conditions such as heart disease, sickle-cell disease and diabetes. In a recent class, students dissected sheep hearts and cow hearts to learn how they work. Read more