Kelso School Board president Patty Wood elected to the WA State Board of Education

Kelso School Board president Patty Wood has been elected to the Washington State Board of Education, ending her 13-year stretch on the Kelso School District Board. Wood was board president for four years, vice president for another four, and served as a legislative representative for eight.

Wood was elected by a vote of school board members in the Western Region Tuesday. Wood will fill the Western Region’s Position 4 on the 16-member board. Her four-year term will begin in January.

The Washington State Board of Education is the overseeing body of education in the state and has many duties, including making rules for public and private schools, monitoring school compliance with the Basic Education Act, and helping write and implement education legislation.

Wood has held a variety of roles at the state level, including two terms on the Washington State School Directors Association board of directors as well as the association’s board standards task force, technical advisory group and effective educations Every Student Succeeds Act work group. She also served on Education Northwest’s board and on the Education Commission of the States 100 district leaders network.

“After being on the local board for 13 years, I understand fully the impact of state policy,” Wood said Thursday. Especially with the impending McCleary decision compliance and Every Student Succeeds Act implementation, Wood will have her work cut out for her. “That’s why I felt that this was a good time to make that jump,” Wood said.

Wood’s first state board meeting will take place on Jan. 11 and 12 in Tumwater. Five more meetings will be held throughout the state over the course of 2017, in Everett, Walla Walla, Spokane, Winthrop and Vancouver.

Wood, 51, is a graduate of Enumclaw High School and received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Central Washington University. She also received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington.

Wood has three daughters and is a cross country coach for Kelso High School.

Wood is not allowed to serve on both boards, so she will be vacating her local seat. The Kelso School District is accepting applications to fill both Wood’s seat and the seat of board member Robert Gibbs, who resigned in November.

Applications may be picked up in the Superintendent’s Office, 601 Crawford St. in Kelso. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the same location. The district expects to conduct interviews Dec. 15 and make selections shortly thereafter.