Board Directors Pendergraft and Paganelli sworn in

Board Directors Pendergraft and Paganelli sworn in
Posted on 12/10/2021

At Tuesday’s Special Board Meeting, Director Haley Pendergraft (Position 1) and Director Valerie Paganelli (Position 5) each took the oath of office, marking the start of their four-year terms on the Tahoma School Board. Pendergraft, who fills the seat vacated by Director Emeritus Tami Henkel, was elected to her position last month. Paganelli, also elected in November, begins her second term in the position.

Dir. Haley Pendergraft
Director Haley Pendergraft

Dir. Paganelli
Director Valerie Paganelli

Both Directors shared that they’re committed to keeping students’ interests at the focus of their decision-making.

“This work all centers around kids, which is the biggest reason I wanted to be here,” Pendergraft said. “We have this excellent opportunity to engage with kids during these years.”

“I place a strong emphasis on advocating for culture and an environment that inspires students to engage in learning and not just while they’re with us, but for lifelong learning,” Paganelli said.

For Pendergraft, creating a welcoming, safe learning environment is a crucial step for student success.

“I want our students to be challenged and have a stimulating curriculum that prepares them for a productive, fulfilled life beyond Tahoma, but I strongly believe that kids have to feel their best before they can embrace that work,” she said. “So, for me, social emotional learning, equity and community connections are pieces that I think have to be very strong because they create an excellent foundation for students to reach their highest potential.”

The Board set their sights on that path with the adoption of their five-year goals, known as Tahoma CARES. Paganelli was one of the Directors who partnered with district leaders and hundreds of community members to formulate those goals in the midst of the pandemic, and she will see them brought to life in her second term.

“The last four years felt entirely unscripted relative to what I set out to do because of the challenges that were presented,” she said. “I’m excited about four years that perhaps embodies more of what I set out for us to do as a district and see how I may be able to contribute.”

As the district establishes strategies and annual targets to achieve the Tahoma CARES goals, both Pendergraft and Paganelli are committed to fulfilling the “PARTNERSHIP” goal and intend to actively collaborate with our community during their term.

“I am continuing to invest in the partnership goal that we have,” Paganelli said. “The board is seated to be intentional in making sure that our relationship with our community is strong and understood.”

“We can find common ground. It’s really important to respect the voices that have different opinions than me and meet them where they’re at, but then work toward finding the things that we do agree on,” Pendergraft said.

Tahoma Cares

To see the School Board meeting schedule, click here. To view upcoming meeting agendas (usually published on the Friday prior to meetings), click here.

What is Tahoma CARES? Click here to learn about our long-term strategic plan for success.

To see each Board Director’s 2022 building, committee and department assignments, click here.

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