Panagotacos joins Colville School District Board

Story from the March 22 S-E edition.

By KATIE LEITHEAD
S-E Staff Reporter

The Colville School District Board of Directors selected Alex Panagotacos to fill the District Three vacancy on March 13.

The District Three position became available when former board member Krista Ohrtman announced she was relocating to South Dakota.

Colville School District Superintendent Pete Lewis said there were “three wonderful candidates” who vied for the position. After the board conducted interviews, they chose Panagotacos.

“I think Alex did a wonderful job in the interview,” remarked Lewis. “I think she brings a passion for youth and youth services, and will provide a fresh perspective to our board. We're excited to welcome her.”

Panagotacos' passion for helping youth is part of what inspired her to apply for the board position in the first place.

“I have a passion for education and for furthering the possibilities for youth so they can reach their full potential,” said Panagotacos. “The school board is one avenue to do that, so it's both sort of self-serving – it feeds my soul – but I also feel like I bring a lot of skills and experience to the table too.”

When it comes to experience, Panagotacos said she felt she had a lot to bring to the table.

For starters, Panagotacos is no stranger to rural school districts. She grew up in a rural school district in northern California. While it's been awhile since she graduated, she still carries the memories of what it's like.

She used to have her emergency credentials for substitute teaching Kindergarten through grade 12 in the Valley and Springdale schools. She also subbed as a para-educator.

Panagotacos also works with children on a regular basis at Rural Resources Victims Services Kids First Children's Advocacy Center.

Colville will be Panagotacos' first experience on a school board, but it will not be her first time being a board member.

Panagotacos currently serves as the secretary on the Washington State Sexual Assault Coalition Board (WCSAP). She has worked on the WCSAP board for several years.

“I think I have a lot to learn,” noted Panagotacos of the Colville School District. “Most of what I know is from the outside looking in.”

She said there's a lot for her to learn about the district's culture, needs, relationships and assets.

“I'm just eager to put down roots in Colville and become more connected to the community,” said Panagotacos. “I like living in town and being able to hear and see all of Colville's movings.

“It's really fun living in the town I work in.”

Panagotacos was sworn in at the March 22 board meeting.