November election results will be certified today (Tuesday, Nov. 23) and that means that for the first time in 24 years, Deer Park’s Board of Directors will welcome a new face in the District 3 seat, Lindsay Lofstrom. After 24 years of distinguished service on the board, Joanne Greer has decided that it’s time to step aside. Ms. Lofstrom will be sworn in at the December 13th board meeting.
There are many who understand that if there ever was a thankless role in our public schools, it’s being a school board director. Board meetings take place outside the traditional school day two times each month and they typically cover all the not-so-exciting things about the “business” of operating a school – things like capital projects planning, enrollment reports, leave requests, policy review, legislative advocacy, as well as budget and contract approval. Aside from these vital governance components of the job, a board member must also be in tune with the pulse of the community, listening to the voice of parents and patrons and working to foster their connection to our public schools.
Without a doubt, being a school board member has never been harder and more complex. The fact is that if people aren’t passionate about kids and about seeing great things happen in the public schools in their community, they’re not doing this work.
In her 24 years of service, Joanne Greer consistently demonstrated her passion for kids by faithfully serving this community and advocating for our public schools. Joanne wasn’t always the first to speak or the loudest voice in the room, but she was always engaged and always thoughtful. As Joanne found her voice for kids and for education here in Deer Park, she also found her voice for the importance of public education throughout our state. Joanne was very active in the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), serving as a champion for Deer Park Schools as the Region 9 leader and at state-wide school director meetings. Joanne was also a regular fixture in Olympia (and occasionally in Washington DC), advocating for our schools with state and federal lawmakers.
In 2015, Joanne took her commitment to Deer Park and to public education to the next level and was elected by her school board peers from around the state to serve as WSSDA’s president – helping to shape public school policy at a time when our state was facing serious issues and questions about consequential items like school funding, student testing requirements (graduation requirements), and staffing allocations. Throughout her distinguished service in Deer Park at the state level, Joanne was thoughtful, she was a creative thinker, she was a collaborative team player, she was principled, and she was tough when she needed to be….but most importantly, she was always in it for the right reasons – she wanted to see our public schools create the very best space for kids to learn and grow.
Along with her extended family, we had a wonderful time celebrating Joanne at our board meeting on November 22nd. On behalf of decades of community members, students, and our entire staff, we say a sincere and wholehearted thank you to Joanne for her dedication and service and for helping to improve our schools and make Deer Park Schools a fantastic place for kids!