Callison Gearing Up for Her Superintendent Tenure

Callison Gearing Up for Her Superintendent Tenure
Posted on 06/21/2024

Portrait Photo of Ginger Callison

In the four and a half months since Ginger Callison was selected as Tahoma School District’s next superintendent, she has devoted many hours and late nights to learning the people and systems that make Tahoma unique. Her official first day is July 1, but Callison has already met with dozens of invested partners, including students, parents, teachers and support staff, and district and community leaders. She has identified strengths and areas of improvement for the district, and she has worked alongside the school board in setting priorities for the upcoming school year.

Learning the Faces and Stories of Tahoma

As part of her onboarding plan, Callison has visited every school, met with a wide-range of stakeholders, and strived to better understand Tahoma’s strengths and challenges. She has attended important school events like the annual Culture Fair at Tahoma High School. She has heard from students and learned about their experiences in our district. And she has heard from parents and community partners, who Callison believes are the true owners of our district.

Dr. Callison, left, listens to a female elementary student, right, describe her classwork

“Our schools ultimately belong to the community,” Callison said. “As trustees, our job is to ensure that we’re putting forth the best product and experiences we can for children, but we also need to hear from parents and residents what they want for the young people of our community. I’ve been delighted to see how much support there is for Tahoma schools, and I believe that we all want the same thing: what’s best for kids to grow into happy, successful, contributing adults.”

Dr. Callison, right, speaks to a female high school student, left, at the 2024 Tahoma High School Culture Fair

Callison is currently developing a 100-day plan of action to listen and gather information that will serve as a foundation for setting the district’s long-term vision. Be on the lookout for invites to provide input and meet with Callison in fall 2024.

Setting a Standard for Success

Callison is joining Tahoma on the tail-end of a five-year strategic plan, commonly called Tahoma CARES. In an effort to be successful in the pillars of High Expectations, Climate & Culture, Wellness, Partnerships, and Equity, Callison has partnered with district leaders and the school board to identify four priorities for the 2024-25 school year. The four priorities include improvements in the areas of: attendance, literacy (reading and writing), math, and employee satisfaction.

“Like all school districts, we’re looking at who is succeeding academically and who is not, and we’re committed to closing those gaps,” Callison said. “Attendance has a strong correlation with how effectively students learn, and our attendance data has taken a dip from 2019. One of my earliest actions will be to learn why some students haven’t been attending consistently, and then work with them and their families to make coming to school a positive experience.”

Dr. Callison, right, speaks at a 2024 Tahoma School Board Working Meeting

Over the early months of the new school year, Callison and the board will set numerical targets for each of the focus areas. District office departments and schools will set their own goals and targets based on the superintendent’s marks, which is meant to bring alignment to goals and practices throughout the district. Throughout the 2023-24 school year, the district has contracted with Studer Education to provide professional development and consulting services that have positioned Tahoma to set these data-driven priorities and accountability measures that will ultimately lead to stronger academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students.

Getting Down to Business

Callison has spent significant time this spring diving deep into Tahoma’s budget, operations, and organizational structures. In addition to her role as a community partner, the superintendent is also the district’s chief executive officer. Callison has been putting in the work to ensure that she will be a strong steward of the community’s investment during her tenure.

“Our number one customer is the children we serve, and we will make sure that we’re putting our dollars in the right places for them,” Callison said. “At the same time, we don’t have unlimited resources, and we have a huge responsibility to take care of the investment our community makes in its schools. Tahoma has a strong track record of being efficient and doing more with less. I want our community to feel confident that their tax dollars are being put to excellent use.”

Callison will take the Oath of Office and assume her responsibilities as superintendent on July 1.

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