Whidbey News-Times photo
Jessica Aws, youth librarian at the Oak Harbor Library, following her appointment to the Oak Harbor School Board on Dec. 5.
(This article was published Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in the Whidbey News-Times.)
By Laura Guido
The Oak Harbor School Board appointed Jessica Aws at a special session meeting Monday to fill the vacant position left by Christine Abbott.
Cory Glach, who ran in the general election for another spot on the board, and Aws both applied for the position in November and were interviewed by the board during the meeting.
Abbott resigned on Nov. 1 because her family received orders from the Navy and is moving later in December.
Aws is a youth librarian at the Oak Harbor Library and serves as chair of the Oak Harbor Youth Coalition.
“Education is my passion,” Aws told the board during the interview.
She said she felt her education has been empowering, and she wants to work to ensure all students also have a chance at having so many opportunities as well. Aws received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and master’s in medieval archaeology and library and information science.
She said her experience with community networking would position her to engage with district parents to find out their needs and vision for the district.
Aws said she also believes her experience making decisions in the youth coalition would transfer well to serving on the school board, and she would want to make sure all voices are heard and considered before moving forward on complicated issues.
She is interested in the the McCleary decision, a state Supreme Court decision which ruled that the Legislature had failed in its obligation to fully fund education, and especially how laws passed as a result of it will affect local levies.
Her goals for students include going “above and beyond what is required for education,” by increasing access to extracurricular activities.
Aws moved to Oak Harbor just over a year ago and said she didn’t consider joining the board until this vacancy opened up.
“I see this opportunity to be able to continue to really network and be able to, especially at the organizational level, see where the library and school district can come together and serve our students to the best of our abilities,” she said.
Aws will be sworn in at the next board meeting on Monday, Dec. 11.