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Agents of change

Bremerton School District Board of Directors president Cynthia Galloway and board member Vicki Collins are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of students throughout the district.  - Photo by Wesley Remmer
Bremerton School District Board of Directors president Cynthia Galloway and board member Vicki Collins are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of students throughout the district.
— image credit: Photo by Wesley Remmer

By WESLEY REMMER

Staff writer

Bremerton School District Board of Directors President Cynthia Galloway and BSD board member Vicki Collins epitomize selfless leadership. And while graduation awaits Bremerton High School seniors and the district kicks academia into high gear during the second half of the school year, Galloway and Collins, along with fellow board members, are working hard behind the scenes to keep the BSD running smoothly.

Galloway and Collins share a common desire to make an impact in the lives of students in the Bremerton community and bring positive change to district’s schools, and each is pleased with the progress the BSD has made, on both fronts, over the past few years.

“It’s so exciting to see the school district blossom, it’s a nice thing to be a part of,” said Collins, who has served as a board member for five years.

“I wanted to bring logical eyes and a fresh perspective to our community,” she said of joining the board, “and to be an infectious, impacting agent of change.”

The district’s homework and grading policies are atop Collins’ list of foreseeable changes, envisioning a system in which students receive continual feedback about their work throughout their entire education, regardless of teacher, classroom or school.

“Homework is designed for extension, practice and preparation,” said Collins, who is part of the Homework and Grading Task Force. “It’s about aligning students, aligning curriculum and coming together to create a summative and formative message.”

A consistent homework and grading policy is one of many projects the board has worked on to reach its ultimate goal, to enrich every student’s learning experience in the BSD.

“It’s important to step up and support all students, and to do whatever we can to help them excel,” Galloway said, adding that parents must play a role in helping students succeed in school.

“We need the parents, too, because that’s who the students are with when they’re not at school.”

Beyond educational prowess, Collins and Galloway represent diversity on a school board which prides itself on supporting the entire community.

“I think the school board should reflect the faces of the community it serves,” said Collins, who strives to offer a voice for African-Americans and everybody else. “I strive to be a voice in our community. Not only as an African-American, but as a Bremerton community member.”

Added Galloway of the board, “We’re diverse and appreciative of each other.

“We work well as a team, and I’m proud to be a member of the board.”

Collins and Galloway said the board will focus on graduating as many senior students as possible as the 2007-08 school year approaches its June 13 graduation date.

“We want to make sure all our students graduate,” Galloway said. “If it were my son, I’d want to be sure he had enough credits to graduate.”

When asked how each board member can contribute to a student’s overall success in Bremerton schools, Collins drew an analogy symbolic of the board’s team-oriented approach toward education.

“It’s like a puzzle, and we are all a puzzle piece. When we’re hooked together, we create a picture that tells a story,” she said. “We all have a purpose, and the puzzle doesn’t become a picture unless all it’s pieces are in the right place.”

Both Galloway and Collins see a bright future for the BSD but understand the board’s success hinges upon teamwork and communication.

“It’s no one person representing the board,” Galloway said.

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