Director Sandra Zavala-OrtegaWe are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our School Board and we celebrate their service during January, the month when Washington State recognizes the contributions of 295 locally-elected school boards. Thank you to our board directors: Tracie Barrows, Sandra Zavala-Ortega, Kathy Decker, Wendy Smith, and Kyle Sproul.

As we share our appreciation, we want to offer a heartfelt thank you to departing VPS Board President Tracie Barrows, for her leadership and service, guiding the district through significant challenges and changes over the past year. She was responsible for the recommendation to develop a Trauma Informed Policy which was worked on with the board and adopted during her time as President. Her steady, organized approach and experience in school psychology were invaluable to our staff and students as we returned to in-person learning.

On January 10, Sandra Zavala-Ortega began her role as the first Latina School Board President for VPS. Sandra has been a School Board member since 2021, most recently serving as Vice President.

Sandra Zavala-Ortega

From VPS student to VPS Board President!

Sandra’s path to serving as VPS School Board president is unique. She is a former student, a former VPS employee, and a parent of a current VPS student, and our schools have always been close to her heart. VPS Superintendent Dr. Snell reflects, “While I was the Principal at Fort Vancouver High School, Sandra was a student. It’s amazing to see how her experience at the school prepared her for a commitment to our community. For Sandra, it was a very short path from student to the highly esteemed position of VPS Board President and I am proud of her accomplishments.” 

During her term as Board President, Sandra will continue her leadership, with a strong equity focus to ensure that each student in VPS has equal access to programs and services. Sandra will continue to be a key stakeholder in the Write Our Story strategic planning process, developing a five-year roadmap for the district. 

Congratulations Board President Zavala-Ortega, from all of us here at VPS!