The Othello School District board of directors follows the policy model of Policy Governance.
Policy Governance® is a fundamental redesign of the role of the board, emphasizing values, vision and the empowerment of both board and staff. It is designed to create a clear structure for a board of directors to be accountable to the community that they serve.
This model enables the board to:
- Focus on the larger issues,
- Clearly delegate authority,
- Direct management’s job without interfering, and
- Rigorously evaluate what is accomplished.
Meet The Board
Juan Garza, President – District 1
Juan Garza is a lifetime resident and active member of the Othello community. A graduate of Othello High School, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences from Bethany College. Mr. Garza is currently the Administrator of the Adams County Juvenile Court, and has worked in the field of Juvenile Justice for over seventeen years. He and his wife have two sons who are presently in the Othello school system.
Mr. Garza is a visible, vocal supporter and defender of our children, our teachers, and our schools. He was appointed to the school board in 2010 to fill a vacancy, then elected in 2011, so Juan is well versed on the issues our district faces. He has served as the board’s legislative representative for two years, and is designated as the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) board contact.
Juan’s goal is to give all students in the Othello School District access to the best education possible and to help shape our District into an example other districts will look to for inspiration. His belief is that the key to reaching this goal is to include everyone in the discussion…students, parents, teachers, administrators, and businesses…so that no opportunity or idea is missed to better our schools.
Robert Simmons – District 2
Rob Simmons has served on the Board for 7 years. His occupation is Doctor of Chiropractic, and he and his wife, Sheila, have a daughter in 6th grade and a son in 3rd grade. Besides spending his time as a Little League Baseball coach, Dr. Simmons is the treasurer and one of the chefs for the Community Diner, a brunch venue whose proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations. He also enjoys supporting the Community Schools program by opening his home as a venue for several cooking classes this year.
When Rob first decided to run for school board, it was simply because he wanted to give back to the community by offering his time and service. When the time came for him to consider running for a second term, there were other factors involved, like all the positive things he saw happening in the district that he was not aware of before serving on the board. From the construction and modernization projects to the targeted training and strategies developed during the Summit initiative, Rob sees that this school district is working hard to improve the quality of teaching as well as provide a safer and more comfortable atmosphere in which our children can learn. He continues to serve because he enjoys being a part of these great things.
Stewart Hilmes – District 3
Tony Ashton, Vice President – District 4
Tony Ashton joined the Board in January 2009. He and his wife Mary have 4 children. Besides working as a financial planner, Mr. Ashton is actively involved in his church and participates in various other community organizations. His other passion is the Jacksen O. Ashton Foundation, which provides scholarship opportunities to deserving students.
Mr. Ashton’s main goal during his time on the Board is to assure Othello’s students graduate prepared to become contributing citizens of society and to have the skills necessary to be able to either continue on to college or immediately pursue a rewarding career. He believes we each have a duty to help our children fulfill their maximum potential.
Mike Garza – District 5
Mike Garza is the newest member of the Othello School Board. He has always had a desire to serve and give back to his community. Mike firmly believes that education is the key to success in life. He is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the School Board, so he can ensure that the appropriate programs and curriculums are implemented, as well as to see our district excel in all areas. Mike wants the Othello School District to be seen as innovators, leaders and trailblazers in education and knows it will require contributions and involvement from students, educators, administrators and parents. He believes community involvement is vital to ensure that we are at the forefront of education. Mike is married and has four children.