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District Mission

  • Promote excellence, engaging every student, every day, through superior instruction, high expectations and academic content that is both challenging and individually relevant.

What's Happening at SJISD?


    Dolores Huerta poster

    The Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor, in collaboration with the Friday Harbor Film Festival, San Juan Island School District, and the San Juan Community Theatre are pleased to announce the screening of “Dolores”, the autobiographical documentary of Dolores Huerta, on January 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the San Juan Community Theatre.  The film is directed by Peter Bratt and produced by Carlos Santana. This is a FREE community event, with limited seating available on a first come first served basis. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with Ms. Huerta.


    Ms. Huerta was an equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers union with Cesar Chavez, and a life-long advocate for the rights of others. Dolores Huerta is among one of the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. Her contributions have gone largely

    unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez. At the age of 87, she continues to advocate for social justice and human rights to this day. The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a grass-roots community organization dedicated to creating networks of healthy, organized communities pursuing social justice. The DHF creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, civic engagement, and policy advocacy. For more information about the DHF, go to


    Mayor Farhad Ghatan and the Town of Friday Harbor will issue a proclamation designating January 29, 2018 as “Dolores Huerta Day”, to coincide with Ms. Huerta’s visit to Friday Harbor.


    The organizing committee also gives special thanks to sponsors Kenmore Air and San Juan Inn Island Collection for underwriting a portion of the travel expenses for Ms. Huerta.


    Review the trailer of Dolores the Movie

    Event poster

    Movie synopsis

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  • School Board Recognition Month

    January 4, 2017


    Dear Community:


    By proclamation of the governor, January is School Board Recognition Month. It’s a great time to recognize our elected community members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youth. School board members in San Juan Island School District are entrusted by this community with responsibility for an annual budget of $11 million, 768 students, 112 employees and 7 buildings.


    School boards are charged with making decisions that can sometimes be quite difficult, or require sifting through a great deal of information. They also bear responsibility for developing a vision that will guide the school district for years to come. Through collaboration as a team, and with school district staff, their governance and advocacy are building the future of education in Washington state.


    This January, we’re encouraging all members of the community to thank a board member. Please thank them for volunteering their time and playing a critical civic role that helps form the bedrock of our democracy - public education. As a crucial bridge between the local community and the school district, their efforts are instrumental in helping all of us realize the hopes and dreams we have for the children of our community.


    The men and women serving the San Juan Island School District and their years of service are:


    Sarah Werling Sandwith, Position #1, elected November 2017

    Barbara Bevens, Position #2, elected November 2017

    Ralph Hahn, Position #3, six years of service

    John Kurtz, Position #4, two years of service

    Jack McKenna, Position #5, six years of service


    For more information about the San Juan Island School District School Board, visit


    Thank you for your support.




    Danna Diaz, Ph.D.

    San Juan Island School District

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  • School Board & Superintendent Communique

    November and December 2017


    This is the first of a regular installment of San Juan Island School District School Board school board meeting recaps.


    Highlights of the November 29, 2017 School District Board of Directors regular meeting:

    • The district celebrated Brent Snow’s eight years of service to our schools. Former School Board Director Boyd Pratt continued the long-standing tradition of reading a poem to commemorate the end of a term, and Brent topped off the celebration with a second poem and selected words of wisdom.
    • Two new Board Directors were inducted, Sarah Werling-Sandwith, Position #1 and Barbara Bevens, Position #2.
    • The FHHS Hiking Club’s annual Grand Canyon trip was approved for Spring Break.
    • The procedure for the Staff-Board-Superintendent Communication Policy, 1620P, was accepted.
    • Diaz shared that she has organized a community presentation of the newly released documentary “Dolores” about Dolores Huerta, co-founder with Cesar Chavez, of the American Farmworkers Association, now known as United Farm Workers, scheduled for January 29th at the San Juan Community Theater.


    Highlights of the December 6, 2017 School District Board of Directors special meeting:

    • The SJISD Board of Directors met in open session for new Board Director orientation.
    • The Superintendent shared the recently developed Strategic Plan.
    • The communication process was reviewed with an emphasis on listening to all stakeholders, but, as a board, speaking with only one voice.
    • Special programs were examined through the lenses of data, assessment and support.
    • Student engagement was cited as the focus for this year.
    • The public school funding model was explained. Most of school funding from the state is based on reported student enrollment and staffing. Additional funds are funneled through the local levy (property taxes), grants from the federal government and additional targeted funding from various local sources such as Island Rec., United Way, PTA (and PTSA), Purple and Gold Club, several foundations, businesses and citizens.   


    Highlights of the December 20, 2017 School District Board of Directors regular meeting:

    • The Turnbull Gym remodel was granted final approval.
    • A Local Support Levy (formerly the M & O Levy) was discussed. San Juan Island School District will prepare a ballot measure for a special election in April 2018. Full figures will not be available until the state legislature finalizes changes to the McCleary Act during the next legislative session.
    • The Board’s proposed “Values” were presented for second reading. The board will review comments from staff and a third reading will be held at the regular January 31, 2018 board meeting.
    • The Superintendent shared the news that on January 29th, Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers Movement, will be here in person at the showing of the documentary “Dolores”. Please contact Dr. Diaz for further information at



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  • Rod Turnbull District 1 Athletic Director of the Year

    Rod Turnbull District 1 Athletic Director of the Year On December 4, it was announced publicly at the District One meeting that our Athletic Director, Rod Turnbull, was awarded the District 1 Athletic Director of the Year Award by his District One colleagues. Rod has been an athletic director for fourteen years.

    The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is split into 9 Districts. All high schools from the Shoreline School District North to the Canadian Border represent District One.  

    The Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators Association (WSSAAA) conference will be held on April 24 in Spokane and the district and state awards will be awarded. 

    FHHS Principal, Fred Woods commented, "Rod consistently displays leadership roles in his association and is an advocate for rural school districts. He manages island athletics very well while keeping the focus on academics." There are a number of people writing recommendations letters to support Rod for the state award. Congratulations, Rod!


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  • SJIslanders' Tech Academy is OPEN!

    Technology image Do you have a need to build your Business, Desktop Publishing, Web Development or IT Skills? We have a wonderful FREE eLearning opportunity for you.

    Visit to learn more.

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Superintendent's Letter

  • December 2017

    Greetings Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members: As 2017 comes to a close, I am excited to share some of the amazing things happening in our district. The implementation of the Balanced Literacy program at the elementary school is in full swing, the Turnbull Gym locker room remodel is complete and we have started our budget reduction process. The San Juan Island Public School Foundation had a successful Phone-a-Thon and we are all looking forward to the SJPSF sponsored Knowledge Bowl in the New Year. At our last board meeting, we welcomed two new board members; Sarah Werling Sandwith and Barbara Bevens. We also said farewell to Director Brent Snow. Brent served eight years on the school board and he will be missed. Please help me welcome Sarah and Barbara. Did you know...

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  • Two SJISD Teachers Receive National Board Certification

    San Juan Island School District would like to recognize the recent success of two of our high achieving teachers, Friday Harbor Elementary School Teacher Diane Heller and Friday Harbor High School Teacher Kevin Cullen.  After the completion of a rigorous course of study, Ms. Heller and Mr. Cullen have each been awarded National Board Certification.


    Diane Heller has been certified as an Early Childhood Generalist and Kevin Cullen in Adolescent and Young Adult Mathematics.  These two well-respected teachers join Sam Garson (FHHS), Erin Bristow (FHMS) and Beth Spaulding (FHHS) as National Board Certified Teachers in the San Juan Island School District.


    National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.  It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.


    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was launched in 1987. The goal is to create standards for high-quality teaching and to professionalize teaching through licensure, following the lead of fields like medicine, engineering, and architecture.   A decade of research shows Board-certified teachers positively impact student learning. For more information, please see their website:


    According to SJISD Superintendent Danna Diaz, “Congratulations to our new National Board certified teachers! You are joining over 112,000 National Board certified teachers who are transforming teaching and learning across the map in a myriad of methods! We are proud of your accomplishments!”


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    The LEO Club “Roars” in Support of Literacy and Art


    Leo Club Support

    Photo left to right:  Zach Fincher, LEO Club, BJ Brandli, Lions club, Karen Meenan, SJPSF, Rich Meenan, SJPSF, Darlene Clark, FHES Teacher, Diane Ball FHES Principal


    The LEO Club, a youth service club affiliated with the San Juan Island Lions Club presented two donation checks to the San Juan Public School Foundation (SJPSF) in support of literacy at the Friday Harbor Elementary School and art at the Friday Harbor High School.


    The San Juan Public Schools Foundation helps supplement state and federal funding to provide a quality education for our island’s children through supporting the public schools with materials and supplies. 


    On December 4th, the LEO Club surprised SJIPS President Rich Meenan with a targeted donation of $600.00 in support of a mini-grant request submitted to the SJIPSF by the 2nd grade teachers.  This mini-grant was for the purchase of leveled reading books for grades K-2 at Friday Harbor Elementary School.  In addition, a check for $350.00 was presented by the LEOs for on-going art supply needs at the high school.


    The LEO's gift came from a discussion between San Juan Island Public School Foundation member Krista Mattox, and Lions Club member BJ Brandli.  When Mrs. Brandli heard about this funding need, she passed the information to the LEO Club.


    LEO Club President Zach Fincher pounced on the opportunity.  Every year in May the LEOs hold a “Golf Scramble” as a fundraiser at the San Juan Golf and Tennis Club for the money to address local needs. This coming May will be their 12th year ‘scrambling” for philanthropy.  “LEO” stands for Leadership, Equality, and Opportunity.


    LEO Co-advisors BJ Brandli and John Bostrom are delighted with their young pride.  Leos members include President Zach Fincher (Sr.), Vice President Finoula Bourne (Soph.), Secretary Kiana Woods (Sr.), and Treasurer Lucy Urbach (Jr.). in all, there are currently 31 high school members of the LEOS club,


    According to Ms. Brandli, “Doing good things is what the LEO Club is all about.  We contribute time, labor, and money to our community.  In short, we fulfill our motto: We Serve.”


    SJIPSF President Rich Meenan stated, “The LEO Club is a great example of local students serving their community.  Their generous donations will help our 2nd graders learn to read as well as advance the school arts program.  We thank the LEO Club for their contributions and applaud them for their community spirit!”  


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