Submitted by North Thurston Public Schools

North Thurston Public Schools staff and community members will get a chance to share their appreciation with long-time School Board director Chuck Namit, who will retire after 28 years serving the district his daughter attended.

There will be a “Farewell and Thank You” event for Namit at the upcoming School Board meeting on Tuesday December 7 at 6 p.m. The event will be held as part of the Board meeting at Chinook Middle School, 4301 6th Avenue NE, Lacey. Please RSVP to superintendent@nthurston.k12.wa.us.

“Chuck Namit has helped in leading a great deal of progress for NTPS,” said Gretchen Maliska, Board President. “His service to our students, staff and community have given us a foundation that will lead us into tomorrow. The history that Chuck helped shape has given us the opportunity we need to provide additional skills and innovation for future students.”

A former teacher, writer and businessman who also served in the United States National Guard, Namit was first elected to the NTPS school board in 1993. Since then, the district has had 5 different Superintendents, undergone significant boundary changes, added student representatives to the School Board, past multiple levies and bonds, adopted more research-based curriculum, transitioned to policy governance, developed a positive relationship with the Nisqually Tribe, and became a “Compassionate Community.”

“Chuck has been a great steward for the children of North Thurston Public Schools for almost three decades,” said Dave Newkirk, Board Director. “Throughout his many years of service, Chuck has always kept the focus of the district and our work as a Board centered around our students. His insightful knowledge of Policy Governance and the Washington state education system has been a huge asset to this community and our children.”

Namit, who plans to continue his advocacy work for schools and equity, looks forward to traveling, visiting family abroad, and ballroom dancing with his wife. He is also excited about serving on the board of directors for Govern for Impact, an international non-profit organization dedicated to empowering governing boards in Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and the United States.

“I think equity is going to be the single most important issue school boards and our country will face in the next 10-15 years,” said Namit. “Whether it’s through adjusting school boundaries, or enhancing culturally competency professional practices, we can and must do more to ensure that every student has the resources and support they need to be successful and reach their full potential!”

Graduations are a symbol of student success and one of Namit’s favorite memories was handing out diplomas over the last three decades.

“I find that students teach adults in many ways,” said Namit, whose daughter graduated from River Ridge High School. He particularly enjoyed the graduations at South Sound High School, an alternative, choice high school (now Envision Career Academy), where students shared their struggles to complete a high school education. “The students’ messages were very personal victories–over hardships and challenges—that reflected their commitment to finish their education, even if it took them longer than the traditional four years.”

Namit’s successor, Tiffany Sevruk, will be sworn in at the same meeting. She was elected to the School Board on November 2, 2021, along with incumbent Director Dr. Jennifer Thomas.

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