The NW Washington STEM Network, a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and part of Washington STEM, announced that Jennifer Veltri has been named as its new director
ANACORTES, WA, August 19, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Jennifer Veltri has been named the new director of the NW Washington STEM Network, which is a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and is a part of Washington STEM.
“I am so excited to be working in support of the NW Washington STEM Network, the Career Connect Washington Regional Coordinating Network, and the Northwest Educational Service District 189 to bring together stakeholders to advance STEM educational programming and provide critical education and economic opportunities for students in our region,” Veltri said. “The foundation that the Network has built over the past five years is incredibly strong. We have tremendous momentum to create even more opportunities, make additional connections, and leverage resources to achieve our goal of providing every child access to lucrative and rewarding STEM careers.”
The NW Washington STEM Network is a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and is a part of Washington STEM. The Network provides resources and a collaborative environment for the community to work together to prepare future generations for economic success and connect them with STEM career opportunities in the region. To support this role the Network’s backbone agency is the Northwest Educational Service District 189, which supports all K-12 school districts in those counties.
Veltri, who is a Mount Vernon resident, served for the past two years as the Associate Dean of Instruction at Skagit Valley College. In this position, she was responsible for increasing the quality of instructional programs through securing needed resources and developing strategies to improve program performance measures toward student achievement and equity. At Skagit Valley College she also had the opportunity to work with the NW Washington STEM Network on a variety of projects including as the author of two Career Launch Endorsement applications and as a collaborator on a successful Career Connect WA Intermediary grant. She also authored a grant to secure $480,000 in Career Launch funding to grow enrollment in SVC’s Marine Maintenance Technology program over the next five years.
“Jenny’s passion for education, equity in access, familiarity with the region and the partnerships involved, and sincere appreciation and excitement about STEM pathways make her the perfect choice to be the director of the NW Washington STEM Network,” said Larry Francois, Superintendent, NWESD 189. “She brings to this position years of successful experience with project management, facilitating regional collaboration among organizations, and significant knowledge of Career Connected Learning programming.”
“It is amazing how our Network has grown and evolved over the past five years and speaks to the relevance of our work and desire for businesses, educators and the community to work together to accomplish program goals and leverage each other’s resources,” said Michelle Judson, who has served as the Network director since its founding. “I’m really proud of what we have accomplished, but we have so much more to do to fully engage communities throughout Northwest Washington.
“According to a recent Washington STEM analysis, if all of the approximately 4,000 graduating high school seniors in the NW Washington STEM (Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom Counties) region this year received a post-secondary certificate, we still would only be able to fill 50% of the living wage jobs here in our region. But, sadly, the data today shows that only 50% of our students are getting a post-secondary certificate. We need to work harder and smarter to create solutions and partnership to prepare our students for high-demand jobs that contributes to the vitality of our families, communities, and local economies.” Judson said. “Jenny will do a tremendous job of taking the organization to the next level.”
“I am so appreciative of the amazing work that the NW Washington STEM Network and community partners have accomplished over the last five years,” added Veltri. “Moving forward, the goal will be to continue growing this work and also expand our focus on equity as there are important voices and faces missing. I look forward to working within the community to remove barriers and ensure all of our children have access to these amazing career pathways.”
Judson plans to stay involved in STEM education and Career Connected Learning after 35 year in business and education, but now is looking forward some kayaking trips, family time and enjoying Northwest Washington.
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About the NW Washington STEM Network
The Northwest Washington STEM Network provides the resources and a collaborative environment for our community to work together to prepare future generations for economic success and connect them with STEM career opportunities in our region.
NW Washington STEM Network is a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and is a part of Washington STEM. NW Washington STEM creates a coordinated effort with planning partners and local stakeholder organizations to serve as a catalyst for initiatives, leveraging resources, and programs, and building community.
To support this role, their backbone agency is the Northwest Educational Service District 189, which supports all K-12 school districts in those counties.
The NW Washington STEM Network began as the Skagit STEM Network and was formed in 2015. The current Skagit STEM Network continues under our organizational umbrella. To grow capacity, NW Washington STEM is fostering the creation of new partners, such as the Whatcom STEM! This new structure will also help to build an even stronger partnership with local and regional organizations whose missions are aligned with ours such as FuturesNW who help prepare students from high school through their transition into their college or training programs.
For more information, please visit NW Washington STEM.
About NWESD 189
The NWESD, located in Anacortes, is one of nine Educational Service Districts in Washington State. The NWESD serves 35 school districts in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties, providing leadership and cooperative services to the educational communities in the northwest region.
For more information, click here.
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