Longstanding school board member resigns from PT School District

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 6/2/22

Port Townsend School District Board Member Connie Welch will be stepping down from her position on June 11, citing a desire to focus on her personal life.

Welch has served the Port Townsend School …

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Longstanding school board member resigns from PT School District

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Port Townsend School District Board Member Connie Welch will be stepping down from her position on June 11, citing a desire to focus on her personal life.

Welch has served the Port Townsend School District for more than 30 years as a teacher and member of the district’s board of directors.

“I am resigning from my board position as of June 11. It has been a privilege to be a board member for the past six-plus years. I thank all those who had faith in me as a board member and those who voted for me,” Welch said during the board’s May 19 meeting.

“I am pleased to have been a part of hiring two superintendents, serving on the Instructional Material Committee, a member of Team Fantastic, the District’s Technology Committee, and a member of the Alternative Learning Experiences Review Committee,” Welch added.

Discussing her reason for departure, she said: “There are some unexpected and exciting things happening in my personal life right now that will take me away from Port Townsend for large chunks of time, making it difficult to be involved with the board. I have happily and enthusiastically given this district more than 30 years of my energy. It is now time for me to simply concentrate on my personal life.”

District Superintendent Linda Rosenbury praised Welch’s service in the District 1 position.

“She is a long-time trusted board member, and [was] so crucial for me stepping in as superintendent,” Rosenbury said. “We will miss her a lot but we’re happy with the legacy she’s leaving with.”

As a member of the school’s Technology Committee, Welch was a major proponent for expanding students’ access to devices like Chromebooks inside the classroom, as well as at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Rosenbury said.

The school district is currently looking into applicants and will vote on a new board member to fill the District 1 position in June. An applicant will need a majority approval (three out of five school board members) to take the interim position.

“The board will interview applicants on June 16, then vote on who to appoint to the board,” Rosenbury said.

Welch is a longtime resident of Port Townsend. Moving from a rural town near Chehalis to the Olympic Peninsula as a child, Welch’s introduction to the Port Townsend School District came as she entered first grade.

After graduating from Port Townsend High, she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in child and family studies from Washington State University. Welch continued down the academic path, completing post-graduate work at Seattle Pacific University and earning a master’s degree in educational technology from City University of Seattle.

Welch eventually returned to Port Townsend and taught first grade through sixth grade for
25 years before moving to the school board for six-and-a-half years.

While with the school district, she co-founded the Optional Education Program — a first-through fifth-grade program where students learn in a multi-age class structure and cooperate with two teachers. The Optional Education Program has been a key part of Salish Coast Elementary since its creation.

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