I have proudly called Vancouver, Washington my home for the last 23 years. My husband, Mark, and I moved here from the East Coast (via Corvallis) and began our family. We have three amazing kids, ages 16 to 23, who have all been beneficiaries of the positive opportunities that VPS provides. We have also negotiated obstacles they faced in school along the way.

My life before kids began in Falls Church, Virginia. I knew I wanted to teach when I was 11 years old. After attending one of the most culturally and economically integrated public high schools in the country, I graduated from The College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Elementary Education. I began living my dream of becoming a teacher immediately.

Since then my extensive teaching experience spans “a few” decades, three states (plus Japan), diverse communities and every age group from 2 to 11 years old—including multi-age classrooms. This past year I had the honor to work as a kindergarten teacher with the talented and dedicated staff at one of VPS’s neediest schools, P.S.Ogden Elementary.

I am often asked what grade is my favorite, and I can state reasons for each! I enjoy watching every child learn and develop into who they will become. I love interacting with the parents and helping them to navigate their child’s new stages. I relish working with colleagues to develop strategies to meet the needs of each individual child. I read with fascination the research about how children learn and how amazing their brains are. I am an education geek!

These are the passions and experiences I will bring to the VPS to the school board!

Kathy Decker for Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors, Position #4