WA Charters Names Patrick D’Amelio as New CEO

Friday, March 20, 2017
Contact: Maggie Meyers at maggie@wacharters.org or 724-263-9826

Public Education Champion Named CEO of Washington State Charter Schools Association

Patrick D’Amelio Brings his Energy to Growing State’s Charter Public School Sector
D’Amelio Led Widespread Expansion of STEM Education Across State

SEATTLE—The Washington State Charter Schools Association’s (WA Charters) Board of Directors announced today that it has hired Patrick D’Amelio to lead the organization as Chief Executive Officer.

D’Amelio, who has a long track record of increasing high-quality educational opportunities for students in Washington, comes to WA Charters with more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience in education and youth development – and a deep respect among Washington’s education, policy and business communities. Calling him “a perfect fit for the next chapter of WA Charters,” the organization’s board of directors shared their excitement for D’Amelio’s deep understanding of the state’s complex public education landscape and his commitment to improving the lives all students.

“I look forward to broadening the reach and deepening the impact of high-quality, innovative public school options for students and families across Washington,” said D’Amelio, who starts in his new role on May 1, 2017. “I am thrilled to be joining our state’s charter public school movement at such a critical moment in its early history. The voters, the legislature, and the court have all spoken. Now it’s time to focus on increasing awareness of—and access to—our thriving charter public school sector.”

Consistent with WA Charters’ mission – to advocate for and support high quality charter public schools that meet the needs of historically underserved students – D’Amelio has dedicated his career to bringing educational opportunities and critical developmental support to children, particularly those who are furthest from opportunity.

D’Amelio will be coming to WA Charters following a highly successful five-year post as CEO at Washington STEM. When D’Amelio joined Washington STEM in 2012, statewide awareness of STEM education was low, at just 32%. Today, 94% of Washington voters believe that every child in the state should have access to a high-quality STEM education in Washington’s K-12 public schools. Under D’Amelio’s leadership, Washington STEM has raised and leveraged more than $50 million through connections with private and public donors, the impact of which has been an extraordinary increase in the number of students able to access STEM education, particularly those in low-income communities and from communities of color. Additionally, during D’Amelio’s tenure, Washington STEM has established and maintained 10 regional STEM networks that connect business, education, and community leaders to support STEM education at the local level.

D’Amelio’s work over the past two decades in the nonprofit space reflects his unwavering commitment to ensuring that every young person has an opportunity to succeed in life. As President and CEO for the Alliance for Education, D’Amelio executed strategic planning to reframe the mission of helping students in Seattle Public Schools achieve academic success, and he worked with varying interests to support their common vision. During his tenure at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, D’Amelio oversaw the pairing of caring adult mentors with young people while growing programs, increasing revenues, and balancing budgets.

With D’Amelio at the helm, WA Charters is poised to continue delivering innovative and equitable outcomes for students and to drive meaningful change across the broader public school system, as the organization focuses on increasing the number of high-quality public school options for Washington students.

D’Amelio is taking the reins at WA Charters on the heels of a major legal win. On February 17, King County Superior Court Judge John Chun ruled to uphold Washington’s new charter school law on all counts. Currently, the state’s existing eight charter public schools serve more than 1,600 students in King County, Tacoma, and Spokane. By Fall 2017, with the expansion of each existing school, and the opening of three more new authorized schools in Southeast Seattle, West Seattle, and Walla Walla, more than 2,500 Washington students will be attending charter public schools.

About Washington’s Public Charter Schools
Charter schools are a type of public school, approved and overseen by a state or district authorizer. Like all public schools, they do not charge tuition, they are open to all students, and they are publicly funded. However, charter public schools are held more accountable for showing improved student achievement. In exchange for greater accountability, teachers and principals are given more flexibility to customize their teaching methods and curriculum to improve student learning.

Washington’s charter public schools are helping to close the education equity gap. A majority of charter public school students in Washington are students of color, as compared to 43 percent statewide, and a majority of charter public school students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, as compared to 45 percent statewide. 15 percent of the students we serve receive special education services, as compared to the statewide average of 13.5 percent. Reflecting the diversity of the students they serve, 39 percent of our schools’ founding teachers identified as people of color, whereas the the statewide average for nonwhite teachers is 13 percent.

In some communities, traditional public schools are meeting the needs of local students. But in other communities – particularly communities of color that struggle with poverty – they are not. According to 2015-16 academic results, students at Washington’s charter public schools are making impressive gains in reading and math.


Recent Updates

Filter by topic

The day has arrived! Tacoma's charter public school tour is at 10:30AM. Send any last minute questions to bbrod@stand.org and we'll see you there! ... See MoreSee Less

**Reminder: Tomorrow is the Tacoma charter public schools tour! Please RSVP and send any questions to bbrod@stand.org. ... See MoreSee Less

We are looking for talented leaders interested in starting new quality charter public schools! Check out this video and learn more today, at: wacharters.org/startaschool/ ... See MoreSee Less

Tacoma's charter public school tours are coming up on March 11th - Don't forget to RSVP! ... See MoreSee Less

Washington State Charter Schools Association updated their profile picture. ... See MoreSee Less

Learn more about Tacoma's charter public school options at our school tours Saturday, March 11th. Be sure to RSVP and send any questions to Brooke Brod at bbrod@stand.org. ... See MoreSee Less

Calling all elementary, middle or high school families in Tacoma! SOAR Academy, Destiny Charter Middle School and Summit Public Schools - Washington Olympus are co-hosting an amazing tour event for families to explore Tacoma's innovative, personalized public school options! ... See MoreSee Less

We are excited to announce our tour of Tacoma's charter public schools on March 11th. Save the date and RSVP to learn more about your public school options in Tacoma. ... See MoreSee Less

It’s never too early to start thinking about school enrollment for Fall 2017! Washington is home to some incredible charter public schools, and next week families in Tacoma will have an opportunity to learn more about the leading schools in their area. For students and parents looking for exceptional options in personalized learning and academic enrichment, this is a perfect place to start.

On Saturday, March 11, WA Charters will host an evening tour of SOAR Academy, Summit Olympus, and Destiny Middle School so that parents and kids interested in learning about great public school options can explore each school building, meet with school teachers and leaders, and hear from current charter families and students about their experience.

The tour promises a close-up look at the amazing programs and opportunities provided by schools that are paving the way for student achievement. These schools are tuition-free and academically rigorous, prioritizing the personal educational needs of all students so that they can reach their full potential. It’s going to be a great evening, and we hope to see you there.

10:30a – 11:30a Tour SOAR Academy, 2136 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405

11:45a – 12:45p Tour Summit Olympus, 409 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma 98421

1:00p – 2:00p Tour Destiny Middle School, 1301 E. 34th Street, Tacoma WA 98404

To RSVP or for more information, please email Brooke Brod at bbrod@stand.org.
... See MoreSee Less