Submitted by Debbie LeBeau, Superintendent, Clover Park School District.
August will mark the end of my tenure in Clover Park School District (CPSD) as retirement beckons me into a new phase of my life’s journey. After 33 years in education (22 in Clover Park) and 10 years as CPSD superintendent, I reflect on my career with pride.
Together with the board and staff, we have accomplished a lot in the district in the last 10 years. We have opened 11 new schools and developed innovative programs to aid in each student’s success. We have seen more and more of our students successfully graduate from high school, with on-time graduation rates increasing nearly 20 percentage points districtwide over my tenure.
You helped us pass two educational program and operations levies and one school construction bond, which allowed us to open new buildings for Hudtloff Middle School, Four Heroes Elementary School and Harrison Preparatory School. Several of our schools have been recognized as Schools of Distinction and received Washington Achievement Awards for academic improvements, and we were the first school district in Pierce County to offer International Baccalaureate programs in grades K-12.
A strong military partnership has done a lot to help strengthen the education of our military-connected families. Working with the U.S. Department of Defense, we constructed and opened six new schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord since 2013, and we worked with Madigan Army Medical Center Adolescent Clinic to establish health clinics for military students in our high schools and middle schools that serve on-base students. In addition, we have school behavioral health services available at all JBLM schools. Military family life consultants support students and families in our schools with a high percentage of military dependents.
We have also expanded our educational opportunities to include more students. We implemented full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, opened our early learning program for low-income families and established the Open Doors program, which gives students more options to earn their high school diploma.
Serving as your superintendent has been rewarding and challenging. As I reflect on my time in CPSD, it’s clear how much work we have done together to increase student achievement. It has been an honor to serve you and I look forward to watching as district students and staff continue to create promising futures.