Success For Each Child & Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity

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PSESD Board of Director Changes for 2020

Renton, WA. - December 10, 2019 -- Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is excited to announce the results of the 2019 Board of Directors elections. This summer, PSESD announced four of the nine seats on the PSESD board were open for election. 

The results are in for the 2019 Election; Greg Bawden District 4 and Joanne Seng District 6, won their elections and will retain their seats on the PSESD board. Additionally, PSESD has two new community members who will join the board in January 2020. PSESD is pleased to welcome: 

Dr. Marion Smith, Jr., District 2

Dr. Marion Smith Jr. is a black man, first. He is an adaptive leadership scholar, critical race theory practitioner, and career-long, certificated PK-12 urban education teacher and leader. Marion has honed his 20-year education career in diverse ethnic, linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic settings in Las Vegas, Nevada; North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Seattle, Washington where he has served and supported school districts and educational communities with enrollment ranging from 50 – 420,000 students. 

Currently, Marion serves as chief operating & education officer of TechSmart, an EdTech company with headquarters in Seattle, WA and operations in 7 states, focusing on equitable computer science education and coding in grades 3-12. A former K-12 public school student and performing arts high school graduate, Marion’s scholarship includes a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), a master’s degree in Education Administration & Supervision with K-12 Principal Certification from the University of Phoenix - Las Vegas campus, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership & Change from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. He pursued post-doctoral studies in Executive Leadership at Seattle University (Seattle U) and earned Washington State Superintendent Certification. Additionally, Marion is an inaugural graduate of The School Superintendents Association (AASA) Urban Superintendents Academy at the University of Southern California (USC) – a cross-institutional partnership that offers a dynamic approach to urban superintendent preparation and certification to bolster the effectiveness of school district leadership in our nation’s urban areas.

Marcella V. Tomlin, District 8

Marcella Tomlin shares a common narrative to many transplants to the South Puget Sound; the daughter of an Army veteran with deeply southern roots, enmeshed in the immense diversity that hearkens to the collective grace and strength of profoundly agrarian determination. She has strong ties to the Tacoma community, is a graduate of Tacoma Public Schools, and was a participant in many acts of community service with Jack and Jill of America (Tacoma Chapter), Safe Streets (Youth Leading Change) and Access Programs with the University of Puget Sound.  

Marcella currently serves as an Administrator with OneSchool Global, North America, a school system of excellence comprised of 37 private schools located across North America and the Caribbean. She also helps to deliver STEAM enrichment opportunities through Snapology of Gig Harbor which most recently received a year-long contract to provide Expanded Learning Opportunities to 22 Tacoma Public Schools through the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Marcella earned her Bachelor of Sociology from Western Washington University, which eventually led her to an AmeriCorps service contract with Communities In Schools (of Peninsula). From this experience, she was led to pursue a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University.

"The primary work of the PSESD Board is to support and guide the PSESD in achieving our End, Success for Each Child and Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity. I am confident our new board members will contribute tremendously to this important work," said John Welch, PSESD Superintendent, upon learning the election results. 

ESDs are governed by a board of directors consisting of seven or nine citizens who are accountable to and elected by the school board members in the region's public school districts. The board members represent geographic director districts based on U.S. Census data. 

The ESD boards provide direction to their superintendent who is advised by local school district superintendents. Newly elected board members will be sworn into their positions at the January 15, 2020 Board Meeting at PSESD.


As superintendents of the Puget Sound region representing nearly 40% of students across Washington state, 53% of whom are students of color, our unwavering focus is on students. Our 2020 legislative priorities are aimed to create opportunities for each and every student to succeed in school and in life, and to eliminate opportunity gaps based on race, income and other factors that have historically disadvantaged young people.

Read More about Puget Sound Superintendents Set 2020 State Legislative Priorities
2020 Regional High School Art Show Flyer

Save the date! The annual Regional High School Art Show award will be hosted at the Puget Sound Educational Service District on March 18, 2020. Online registration will begin on December 1, 2019 until January 17, 2020. For more information please visit

Read More about Save the Date! Regional High School Art Show On March 18, 2020. Online Registration Opens On December 1, 2019
John Welch Speaking at School Safety Press Conference

Leaders from the state’s Educational Service Districts (ESDs) joined legislators, school staff and student representatives on September 22, for a news conference urging broader support and additional funding for school safety and student mental health services.

Read More about ESDs, superintendents, state legislators and students push for additional support to address student safety and mental health.
We Support the King County Promise

On August 28, 2019, the Martin Luther King County Council passed historic legislation investing $318 million to improve educational outcomes for children and youth over the next 16 years. The investment, funded through voter-approved Sound Transit 3 proceeds, supports King County children and youth across the entire age spectrum, from early learning through postsecondary completion.

Read More about King County Promise Legislation Passed
AESD School Accreditation Services

Learn how AESD Accreditation aligns with School Improvement Planning and can help your school to provide the most value for your students.

LIT Interns

High school students are invited to learn with us and influence the work of the organization into the future. Interns will be part of LIT (Leaders in Training), and participate in learning and leadership sessions with other interns

Interns are compensated $15/hour and need to have transportation to meeting locations and worksite. Internships are held at PSESD (800 Oakesdale Avenue SW, Renton, 98057). 
A transportation stipend of $100 is provided.

Welcoming Balloons

The Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) is a professional organization serving educational service agencies (ESAs) in 45 states; there are 553 agencies nationwide. AESA is in the position to reach well over 80% of the public school districts, over 83% of the private schools, over 80% certified teachers, and more than 80% non-certified school employees, and well over 80% public and private school students. Annual budgets for ESAs total approximately $15  billion.

Read More about AESA Welcomes PSESD, John Welch, to the Executive Council
Children Reading

We are on track for school budget cuts that disproportionately hurt students of color and those who are living in poverty — the very students who are negatively impacted by the opportunity gap we are all striving to close.