Board receives statewide award

School board receives statewide ‘Board of Distinction’ award
Posted on 11/01/2019
School board and Superintendent

The Anacortes school board has again been recognized as one of the top school boards in the state. In an announcement on November 1, the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) recognized Anacortes with a 2019 “Board of Distinction” award for their excellent work and commitment to both students and community. 

School board members are Bobbilyn Hogge, Erin Rieger, Bill Shaw, Marilyn Hanesworth and Matt Cutter. The board is now eligible for a “School Board of the Year” award, which will be announced at the upcoming WSSDA annual conference on November 22.  

This is the sixth time that Anacortes has been honored. Anacortes is one of only 12 districts statewide that have received the award five or more times. 


Thirty-seven school boards statewide were named this year out of 295 districts. Anacortes and Mount Vernon were both recognized from Skagit County.


The award highlighted the district’s work related to equity and closing the achievement gap, especially through the district’s summer Impact program and social-emotional learning. It also acknowledged the board’s outreach efforts related to changing school start times. 

“We have made important progress in the last year by launching a new summer school program, introducing social-emotional programs across schools and addressing a community desire for later start times,” said Board President Bobbilyn Hogge. “I am proud of the research and outreach we have done on these programs to support the success of all of our students.” 

The board also presented data showing increased student achievement in state assessments, reduction in ninth-grade failure rates, and improved graduation rates. Anacortes ranked first of 35 districts in northwest Washington on 2019 state assessments, while districtwide graduation rates have increased above 90 percent for the first time in district history and ninth grade failure rates dropped significantly in 2018-2019. 

“Our board carefully monitors student progress as it relates to district goals, and sets a high bar for student achievement,” said Superintendent Mark Wenzel. “This recognition represents an incredible effort by our entire staff across schools, as well as the board’s intentionality in staying focused on a strategic plan and aligning the system to the goals of that plan.” 

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