Photo courtesy of Aevum Images—

Vancouver Public Schools’ Chief of Staff Tom Hagley Jr. was recognized Sept. 9 with the 2014 Community Champion award for his leadership of the district’s Family-Community Resource Centers. The award, given by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, recognizes a community member for making a positive difference in the region.

Hagley oversaw the development of 12 FCRCs in Vancouver Public Schools over the past six years. The FCRC network is a proactive approach to turning around poverty-impacted schools by forging connections among community partners, agencies and VPS students and their families. Decades of experience and research show that poverty adversely impacts student achievement. By providing for basic needs and offering educational programs and academic support, FCRCs help students arrive at school ready to learn. The centers also give parents and families a place where they can gather to learn about services, take classes and become more engaged in their schools.

With Hagley’s leadership, the number of partnerships between VPS’ FCRCs and the greater Vancouver community, including local businesses, has grown from 22 to 733. Partner contributions now total $3.2 million per year, resulting in a 4:1 return on investment. For every district dollar spent on the FCRCs, VPS receives $4 of value from partners. These partners, who often participate in FCRC planning and oversight, have a clear stake in school outcomes. Business partners, especially, understand the potential impact of student success. Through FCRC support, VPS is cultivating graduates who are better-prepared for the workforce.

“Meeting the needs of children and families is imperative to creating a better community, and Tom has been instrumental in making this a priority,” wrote Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools’ Steve Hill, immediate past president, and Rhona Sen Hoss, executive director.