CFO Gavin Hottman and Superintendent Tim Merlino celebrating ESD 112's successes at the end-of-the-year party in June.

CFO Gavin Hottman and Superintendent Tim Merlino celebrating ESD 112’s successes at the Olympic-themed end-of-the-year event in June.

ESD 112 has always been an organization that “does hard things.” That means we respond with new and innovative programs when districts need help. That means we work hard to help districts solve problems and interpret complex state and federal initiatives, demands and requirements. We work hard to serve the most vulnerable students – from our youngest learners to our students with special needs to those impacted by adverse situations outside the classroom walls.

This year, we are especially proud to assist local districts with the teacher shortage. With our district partners – Battle Ground, Castle Rock, Camas, Evergreen, Hockinson, Kalama, Kelso, La Center, Longview, Lyle, Ridgefield, Skamania, Vancouver, Washougal, White Salmon,  Woodland, and ESD 112 Specialized Student Services (Kalama, Wahkiakum, Naselle-Grays, Stevenson Carson, White Salmon), we have launched ESD-U, becoming the first non-college or university approved to certify prospective teachers. 56 candidates will begin the ESD-U program in the fall.

We also are expanding our Threat Assessment program to districts throughout SW Washington. The model will help support student safety efforts for our rural districts who do not have access to these kinds of resources.

It’s been a record-setting year of growth for ESD 112. Our budget is up 35% over the last four years and we continue to add new grant-funded programs, contracts and fee-for service programs. We look forward to expanding workforce programs, early learning, prevention, Climate Science and much more in the coming year.

A special thank you to our staff, our community and district partners and our Board of Directors for working with us, believing in us and supporting the work of ESD 112. I hope you all have a relaxing and safe summer!

-Tim Merlino