Governor Inslee Visits Shuksan Middle School

Educators in Action

Governor of Washington state Jay Inslee had a full day in Bellingham, keynoting at Western Washington University’s symposium on electric vehicles, visiting a housing facility for the homeless Francis Place, and chatting with students and staff at Shuksan Middle School.

At Shuksan, Gov. Inslee’s visit included a look at the BEST grant that Bellingham Public Schools fully implemented in 2016-17. The grant focuses on equity and great teaching with strong support for new teachers. District mentors (teachers on special assignment) and school-based mentors support novices and educators who are new to our district.

The governor visited the classroom of 6th grade teacher Alexa Tucker, who is in her first year of teaching and he answered numerous questions from the students.

He then visited the Science, Technology and Math (STEM) classroom of technology teacher Jennifer Hento. He visited with students as they built models of cars with robotics kits. He questioned the students on their models and how they begin this creative process. Gov. Inslee noted that Career and Technology Education (CTE) programming at the middle school level continues to develop interest and readiness for high school and beyond STEM courses and career pathways.

One special moment during the visit came when Governor Inslee named Shuksan sixth grader Vanessa Kai Dubel the Washingtonian of the Day for her good question “For you, why are schools a big deal?” and he pinned her with his Washington state apple pin.


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