Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Campbell, from left, congratulates Decatur High School English teacher James Diggins as School Board President Geoffery McAnalloy applauds at Tuesday’s School Board meeting. Diggins was a recipient of the newly created “Because of You” award, which recognizes school district teachers and staff for their contributions and impacts they have in students’ lives. Other recipients were Angela Mattson, Lakota Middle School, Mindy Stagg, Sherwood Forest Elementary, Raisa Baker, Taf@Saghalie, Aaron Weed, Thomas Jefferson High School, Jamarkus Springfield, Thomas Jefferson High School, and Natalee Daniels, Camelot Elementary School. JESSICA KELLER, the Mirror

Federal Way School Board appoints Mildred Ollee to fill vacancy

The Federal Way School Board is complete after members appointed Dr. Mildred Ollee to fill the vacant District #3 position Tuesday.

Ollee fills the vacancy left by Liz Drake, who resigned in September to care for family. Ollee will serve the remainder of Drake’s term, which expires in 2019. She will be sworn in during the Nov. 14 School Board meeting.

School Board members interviewed three candidates Tuesday before making their decision at the regular meeting. The board members all agreed all were qualified, and Claire Wilson said she was impressed by the quality of candidates seeking the appointment. She said the first — Allison Taylor — represented a segment of Federal Way the board has not had in the past, while Hiroshi Eto commented that Taylor could bring legislative experience. Anthony Pagliocco, the second candidate, had business acumen in the technology field they agreed could benefit the district.

Board President Geoffery McAnalloy and Wilson both said, however, with the school district’s focus on graduation rates and desire to improve career and technical education opportunities for students, Ollee’s experience at the community college level would prove most beneficial.

From 2003-10, Ollee served as Seattle Central Community College’s president. Before that she was executive dean of Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus for eight years.

Because of her work establishing and overseeing workforce development programs and partnerships with a variety of agencies that led to increased funding for Portland Community College, then-Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski proclaimed July 22, 2003, Mildred W. Ollee day. Ollee received her doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University in 1988, a master’s degree in education from Walla Walla College and a bachelor’s degree in education, English and social science from Xavier University of Louisiana. In December 2016, Ollee was appointed interim executive director at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle.

Ollee is currently a member of Federal Way’s Rotary Club and has served on numerous other committees and organizations.

Wilson said after the meeting that, while it is sometimes hard to find candidates because they have to live in specific districts, she was impressed with all three interviewed Tuesday.

“They all brought expertise and passion and interest to serve,” she said.

When reviewing candidates, Wilson said she carefully weighs what they can bring to the board.

“I always look for breadth and depth of experience, ” Wilson said.

When making her decision, however, she said she favors candidates whose experience and area of expertise differs from other board members because she believes that helps to round out the board so it can have a greater impact.

“That, to me, is always the most important thing,” Wilson said, adding she wants to learn from new board members, even as they are learning.

She said Ollee not only brings experience in the community college system, but she also understands the pathways students can take to continue their education and make recommendations on how the district can improve access for students. She may also be able to provide connections to higher education that could be valuable to the district, Wilson said.

In other action, the School Board extended Campell’s contract for one year, through 2021. Campbell’s base annual salary is $250,661.

According to a statement from McAnalloy, board president, and Wilson, board vice president, “The FWPS Board of Directors believes they are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Campbell’s high caliber leading the way and achieving significant results during her tenure. Retaining one of the best superintendents in the state is important, and we are excited to extend Dr. Campbell’s contract through June 2021.”

According to the statement, as an example of Campbell’s leadership, she was recently selected as one of three national coaches to mentor at a superintendent academy of aspiring superintendents across the country. The other two coaches were from Texas and New York.

The Federal Way Public Schools Board of Directors was recently chosen as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association for the second year in a row. FWPS was one of 22 school boards in the state named as a Board of Distinction. There are 295 school boards in Washington. Courtesy FWPS

The Federal Way Public Schools Board of Directors was recently chosen as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association for the second year in a row. FWPS was one of 22 school boards in the state named as a Board of Distinction. There are 295 school boards in Washington. Courtesy FWPS

Dr. Mildred Ollee

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