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AWSP Blog

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  • National Mentoring Day: Thank You, Mentors!

    Gina Yonts, Associate Director, AWSP
    Oct 27, 2020
    Today, October 27, is National Mentoring Day! 🎉 AWSP would like to offer a well-deserved thank you to the amazing 230 AWSP trained mentors! These mentors offer their support, guidance, friendship, expertise to over 125 new and newly assigned school leaders every year. AWSP-trained mentors are truly “friends of AWSP” as they deeply understand and are committed to impacting the effects of the principal churn rate in the state of Washington.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Current Principal Reality

    Stephanie Teel, Principal, St. Helens Elementary, Longview SD
    Oct 26, 2020
    During October's Principals Month festivities, we asked members on Facebook, "What's one thing you wished people knew about your current reality as a principal?"  Stephanie Teel writes, "Right now, my job feels a lot like the title of an old Western: 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.'" Read more to find out why. (Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing!)
  • Inclusion: Was Always, Is Now, and Will Continue to be THE Work

    Chris Espeland, Associate Director (Inclusion Project Lead), AWSP
    Oct 23, 2020
    As the 2020 year continues to progress, we have the unusual vantage point for understanding an even broader meaning of inclusion. Across the world, we all experienced a form of isolation that was required in response to the pandemic and continues even now. Social distancing is something we all became intimately acquainted with. For our own safety and the safety of others we donned masks, restricted outings, and reduced gathering to those within our households. To equate social distancing to exclusion may seem over the top, but if you think about it, it has afforded everyone the experience of what many students with disabilities encounter daily in our brick and mortar schools and in truth, life, which is to be distanced in all ways. So how do we shift, in those ever-shifting sands of re-opening schools to ensure inclusion and inclusionary practices are a part of reimagining?
  • We are Listening, but Do We Hear Them?

    James Layman, Director of Student Programs, AWSL
    Oct 23, 2020
    For many of our students, the realities are that many adults listen to them but do not hear them. Their perspectives, words, hopes, fears, and concerns often get chalked up as "kids being kids." As adults and people with positional power, we can foster and create spaces where students can be heard. It begins with the belief that their perspectives and stories matter. It's about moving beyond performative student engagement, where we ask questions but disregard their responses. It is about us as adults sitting in potential discomfort and recognizing students' agency and value speaking up and out.
  • AWSP News for October 23, 2020

    David Morrill
    Oct 23, 2020
    In this episode of AWSP News, we discuss our “How To Be “ALL IN” As an Inclusive Leader" webinar series, AWSL's Fall Conference where over 4000 students and school leaders have already registered, creating a Principal’s Advisory Council to build relationships with kids, our Cispus Forever Campaign, our former Learning Center Director Marty Fortin and his recognition by National FFA, Dr. Michelle Fox recognized for the 2020 Bell National Outstanding School Leadership Award, engaging with us in sharing the reality of your work in our weekly Principals Month Question challenge on Facebook, and a special message.
  • Six-Foot Relationships

    Dr. Scott Seaman, AWSP Executive Director
    Oct 16, 2020
    Rolling up in front of Liberty High School in Spangle, Washington was not like the traditional experience of which I was accustomed. For decades, if you pulled into any typical high school parking lot, you’d find cars parked everywhere and a busy scene filled with students moving about socializing in small groups. Not today. It was eerily quiet. Instead I found a half-full parking lot, void of typical activity. What I knew however was that Liberty High School opened in a hybrid model and that students were definitely on campus, but only half of them. I also knew that Principal Aaron Fletcher, a 12 year veteran principal (22 years in district), was somewhere inside principaling. What I didn’t know exactly was what “principaling” meant in our current COVID reality.
  • "I've Never Been Called Exceptional Before."

    James Layman, Director of Student Programs, AWSL
    Oct 15, 2020
    Every now and then, a conversation with a student becomes profound and life-changing. A conversation where you leave the conversation a different person than when you entered. Where students teach you a lesson that you never knew you needed to hear. That sums up a conversation I had with a student this week.
  • Difficult Decisions and a Call to Action in These Challenging Times

    Dr. Scott Seaman, AWSP Executive Director
    Oct 14, 2020
    We are clearly in some of the most challenging times of our careers. And, quite frankly, you probably never envisioned leading your school in and through these circumstances. We hear you. AWSP has been supporting school leaders since 1972 and continues to make the necessary changes to provide the relevant, timely, and personalized support you need. Just as COVID has impacted members like you, COVID has impacted AWSP in many ways. At our recent annual September AWSP and Foundation Board meeting, the board made a difficult decision to terminate our Chewelah Peak Learning Center contract with the Department of Natural Resources and ESD 101. This was by no means an easy decision. Word is spreading quickly about both the action related to Chewelah Peak and the precarious position of our Cispus Learning Center because we officially launched our “Cispus Forever” Campaign this week. This state (and national) campaign is focused on both the short-term survivability of Cispus (in response to COVID) and the establishment of an endowment to forever secure the future of Cispus. We have to start somewhere while we work to build an endowment that will help us weather future storms like COVID.
  • WEBINAR: How To Be "ALL IN" as an Inclusive Leader

    Chris Espeland
    Oct 12, 2020
    Our Principals Month celebration continues with a special surprise: We’re offering a brand-new workshop on inclusion absolutely FREE to AWSP members. How to be 'ALL IN' as an Inclusive Leader is a 5-part series with international film-maker Dan Habib.
  • "We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat." AWSL Virtual Fall Conference is on track to break records!

    James Layman
    Oct 09, 2020
    Every fall, the Association of Washington Student Leaders holds a Fall Leadership Conference. With obvious travel restrictions and complexities at the beginning of the school year, we decided to shift our conference course.

Like to Write?

We're always looking for guest contributions. If you have a passion to write and things to share, email David about a guest post or a role as a recurring guest blogger. 


For More Information 

David Morrill | Communications & Technology Director | (800) 562-6100