Terry, waving her magical WASL wand!

Scary Terry



~As of this week, OSPI plans on holding only one Summer Institute (as opposed to the usual three). It is tenatively scheduled to occur in July in the Tacoma area. ~Terry is interviewing candidates for the “Special Assistant” position this week. ~The Dana Center contract was amended for an additional $20K (I think OSPI is trying to keep this on the down low). ~Everyone hates the marker lady. ~Our Director of Network Operations has been sending out daily emails  apologizing for the technical malfunctions we have been experiencing. Nothing like having to reboot
3x a day!

Graced with her presence…

Terry was actually in the building this week! The most shocking part of it all was that she even addressed us.  The half-hour hall meeting was intended to provide an overview of the recent legislative session.  Her “speech” was mostly feel-good fluff, but the page full of financial funding measures did include a blurb referring to the WASL…… Apparently, OFM is going to be overseeing the agency’s WASL expenditures via an Interagency Agreement (I promise to dig the propaganda out of my recycle bin sometime soon and provide the specific text).  As Terry has no knowledge of the agency’s financial, fiscal, budget, accounting, and legal affairs, her ignorance started to irritate and I began correcting her in my head -just for fun.  But, I completely zoned out as soon as she began droning on about her love of Uri Treisman and the Dana Center.

Special Assistant to the State Superintendent

Act as scary Terry Bergeson’s “special” servant? Oh, hell to the no! And to think, OSPI was advertising this position six months ago for $40,000/yr.  Imagine working 7 days a week, 18 hours a day, beside Terry!  Goodbye family…goodbye sleep….goodbye sanity.  No thanks!     


Position Objective: The purpose of the Special Assistant is to provide strategic assistance in achieving the superintendent’s and agency’s priorities and to keep the superintendent link between superintendent community. Brief the superintendent on all agency issues as they arise in relation to calendared events and participate on the policy and communication’s team.

Principal Responsibilities: The Special Assistant would travel approximately 50% of the time with the Superintendent to events/meetings across the state; work with all constituent issues as they arise while in the field; ensure Superintendent’s schedule is adhered to and travel needs are met; develop agendas and facilitate meetings in collaboration with appropriate cabinet team members or agency staff; represent Superintendent at offsite meetings; work with all OSPI staff to convey important issues to Superintendent and brief Superintendent on emerging issues; ensure that all information conveyed is accurate, reliable and timely; identifies and collaborates with staff and/or stakeholders in developing recommended options to present to Superintendent; review and provide quality control; aligns Superintendent’s activities and resources with the mission and strategy of the organization; anticipates issues that will require immediate attention and develops contingency plans or options; draft policies, discuss/interpret policy; gather information from all stakeholder groups (Gov, Leg, WASA, AWSP, WEA, PTSA, mayors, etc); other duties as become necessary.

Desirable Qualifications and Attributes: An undergraduate degree majoring in education, social services, public policy or a related field is preferred. A Master’s degree with a relevant area of focus is highly desirable. Experience in working with multiple racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups; knowledge of K-12 education issues in Washington State as well as nationwide; strong understanding of the legislative and policy making processes; ability to provide strategic assistance as a partner to the Superintendent; including strong process orientation and problem solving skills; ability to work with a sense of urgency, to be flexible, and to prioritize multiple demands; understanding of the state budget process; politically astute; with excellent interpersonal and negotiating skills, highly collaborative style; excellent communication skills both verbal and written, including the ability to speak with diverse groups of persons; excellent presentation and facilitation skills; ability to work under pressure with overlapping timeframes.

Compensation: This position serves at the pleasure of the Superintendent and is exempt from civil service laws. The annual compensation for the position will depend upon qualifications of the candidate selected.

Thanks in advance…

Are you planning on attending OSPI’s 15th annual January Conference?  If so, please leave your markers at home.  Markers are prohibited this year  because “an attendee” is highly allergic.  Yes, this directive is even in the conference program.  The comical part is that it’s actually a conference organizer who is allergic…and instructing staff members to confiscate unauthorized writing utensils. I don’t know about you, but the thought of an OSPI office assistant stealing a keynote speakers pen makes me giggle.  

Another one bites the dust……

Assistant Superintendent of Communications and Community Outreach, Thomas Shapley, has announced that he is leaving OSPI (for DSHS!).  If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Thomas was a long-time columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  Well, he lasted a year, which is a feat in itself.  We’ll see how his incumbent, Katia Blackburn, pans out.        

Disfunction junction

My morning drive is full of dread.  Is it Friday yet? Fake smile. Coffee. Just breathe. Constant crisis. Walk around the block.  Cold air on hot stress.  10 hour day. Again.