Tacoma Public School District (TPSD) has made partnership one of its top four strategic plan goals. The Director of the Partnership Office, Amanda Scott Thomas, has this vision for the Office, “We will galvanize the power of community to assist young people in creating the future they choose, plan and prepare for. We will bring community members together, speaking with one voice to tell young people: You can achieve, you will graduate and we are here to help you.”
From the beginning, Amanda has built the tenets of partnership and collaboration into her work with the school district. She has worked with the community, schools, nonprofits and businesses to determine the Tacoma School District’s definition of Partnership and the benchmarks for assessing progress.
As a consultant, I supported Amanda in the development of the timeline and strategies for her work with the community. We established benchmarks and a laid the foundation for future work. I was there to discuss strategies and identify partners. And Amanda was always welcome to bounce ideas and concepts off me. We developed the tools and systems her office is using to gather and correlate data. I provided creative, action-oriented facilitation for her work group meetings and internal team meetings.
With my added strategy, facilitation, data management and project management Amanda Scott Thomas and the Tacoma School District have:
- Incorporated the community voice into the planning process
- Drafted a definition of Partnership
- Established key benchmarks, indicators and activities for the work going forward
- Developed a work plan they can use to carry out and implement changes in the School District that will increase the role of partnerships in supporting young people’s educational success
Last but not least, Amanda and I had a great time working together. Amanda is a powerful community speaker and leader, strengthening the relationships between the School District and the community. She is also a blast to work with. I provided her team with clear strategy coupled with fun and stress relief.
What Amanda has to say about working together
“I have big ideas, great vision and the belief that anything is possible- Annie’s consultancy was essential in helping our department move from concepts to plans, action steps and outcomes. Annie is passionate, engaging and made work that was often stressful and overwhelming fun, adventurous and most importantly doable.”
~ Amanda Thomas, Director of Community Partnerships, Tacoma Public Schools