Posted: February 22, 2017

I have the privilege of working with our School Board and get to see day in and day out their volunteer service for our district and community.  What does a school board member do?
·         Spend 10–20 hours a month visiting schools, preparing for meetings, attending meetings, and advocating for public schools
·         Represent community voice in establishing direction and providing guidance at an organizational level 
·         Ensuring student needs are met by making challenging decisions that prioritize system resources
·         Put themselves out there in the public by running for office and representing the district
There’s a lot of pressure to all of that.  We’re fortunate to have an amazing School Board in Connie Hennessey, Tracey Malone, Casey O’Dell, Doug Quinn, and Julie Rotz.  Their leadership makes the Camas School District a HOPEful place!
At our Board Meeting on 2/13/17 we had the opportunity to honor outgoing member Mary Tipton.  Mary began serving on the Board in 2008, taking the place of her husband Gary who had tragically passed away.  What an amazing person to think about serving others while experiencing such loss.  Mary’s leadership was instrumental in many program developments and saw us through a great deal of growth and one of the reasons are school board was recognized as a Board of Distinction in 2016 by the school directors association.
Gary Moller, Principal of Liberty Middle School, and Camas Mayor Scott Higgins both spoke about Mary’s legacy at the Board Meeting:
“For as long as I have been a part of the Camas School District I have known Mary.  She has served the teachers and students of Camas in many roles during the time that I have known her.  She has very quietly had a long lasting positive impact on this community including establishing the Camas Educational Foundation, working to create a vision for the Magnet Program, and more recently serving on the school board.  When I first met Mary, I was in my third year as a teacher and I was fortunate to have her 7th grade twins in my class.  By the time they graduated, I taught them for 5 years (and one was my TA twice) and I considered them to be family.  So for all that she has done for the district, for me it is much more personal, she has shown me what it means to be a great parent, and to give to her community.  For as long as I’ve been an educator I have worked with a Tipton, it is not an exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be the educator I am if it wasn’t for Mary and her family.” 
“Mary has a quiet leadership style that is all about others and never about her.  She has set the example of leadership that I want for my family and I am thankful that my children got to be in Camas Schools during her time serving,” added Mayor Scott Higgins.
Thanks, School Board, for your wonderful support, and best wishes to Mary!  Have a great week creating HOPE & JOY!