Superintendent Carla Santorno will recommend that the School Board approve the hiring of Amanda Thomas as the director of Community Partnership, Academic Equity and Achievement at its Sept. 13 board meeting.
Thomas replaces Karyn Osborne, who retired following the last school year. She will report directly to Santorno and oversee an office with a revised title and focus.
That office now will focus more on the Achievement Gap Action Plan and developing partnerships with community organizations, Santorno said. Previous duties, such as coordinating the program placement process for new initiatives and program evaluation process for assessing the effectiveness of existing programs, will shift to Toni Pace, assistant superintendent for K-12 Support.
“We have a good infrastructure and plan in place to make more progress in eliminating the Achievement Gap,” Santorno said. “But, over the last two years, we have not achieved the outcomes for kids that I’d like to see. I want us to accomplish more in this area under Amanda’s leadership.”
“I’m thrilled to join the team at Tacoma Public Schools and for the opportunity to add my voice to the vision of creating educational equity and improving educational results for Tacoma students,” Thomas said. “My goal is to build upon the great foundation that has been set and work with educators, parents, community and young people in supporting the success of every student.”
Thomas served as a public health educator for nine years with the Kitsap County Health District from 1995 to 2004. She worked for Valley of the Sun United Way in Arizona from 2004 to 2007.
Thomas served in the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families under Governor Janet Napolitano and was retained under Governor Janice Brewer from 2007 to 2011.
From 2011 to the present, Thomas worked in education policy for School’s Out Washington.
Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in public policy and law from The Evergreen State College-Tacoma in 2004.