Superintendent Amy Beth Cook
When you meet new Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Amy Beth Cook for the first time what you notice is her infectious smile and her gentle kindness. You soon find out that behind that grin and warm personality is a highly intelligent and proven leader who has drive, determination and a love of kids that all school superintendents should have.
Cook has spent her entire 29 year career in Lake Stevens schools helping students, leading teachers and school staff and running the Human Resources Department for the district as Deputy Superintendent.
“I feel honored to be selected to lead Lake Stevens School District,” Cook said. “We have excellent schools and a dedicated staff that truly care about providing the best education possible for our students. I plan to work hard to continue the path of excellence that has been established for our schools and community.”
Cook started her profession as a Speech Pathologist and then special education teacher. She has taught kindergarten, been a reading specialist, assistant principal and also the principal at both Mt. Pilchuck Elementary and Skyline Elementary. She then moved to the district office as Executive Director, Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent for Human Resources.
“We are excited to have Amy Beth as our Superintendent. She brings instructional knowledge, hands-on experience and personal leadership that will enable our district to excel,” Lake Stevens School Board President David Iseminger said.
Cook steps into the position at a critical time for all schools throughout the state. With budget cuts afflicting every school district in Washington, including a $1.1 million cut to Lake Stevens schools, Cook has been able to build relationships with teacher’s unions, staff and students.
“It’s a very difficult time in education,” Cook said. “We’ve been asked to do more with less. We will probably see further reductions from the state. We will continue to meet with our union leaders and communicate openly with them. Our district is in a very good place but obviously we will continue our focus on student achievement.”
Cook is looking forward to implementing her plan to personally visit and participate in each of the schools within the district.
“Although I have been a part of the district for many years my previous role did not afford me the opportunity to be out in the schools very often,” Cook explained. “One of my goals is to spend time frequently in our schools. This fall I plan to spend a full day or two in each school using the opportunity to see what is happening in our classrooms and listen to the thoughts and ideas of others.”
Listening to and building relationships with students, teachers, staff and the community is extremely important to Cook, who plans to hold community tours in the coming months.
“I am very open to the thoughts and ideas of the community as well,” she said. “This year we plan to host two tours where community members will have an opportunity to hear about some of the programs in our schools and see firsthand some of the learning opportunities provided for students.”
Of course student learning and a well-rounded education continue to be at the top of the priority list and recent test scores show dramatic gains in math throughout the district.
“We are very pleased with the results. It is a testament to the hard work of our staff and students,” Cook said regarding the test results.
To increase scores in other areas the district will collect and assess data from several different areas.
“Each of our school improvement plans will include work with data. Not only state test data but data gained from many other building level assessments and student work,” she explained. “Using what we learn from the data to inform instruction for students will be a major goal.”
Although tough economically, the coming years are highly anticipated by Cook. She encourages students to not only study hard but to also seek out a well-rounded education, which includes extra-curricular activities like sports, drama and clubs.
“We have really tried to maintain extra-curricular opportunities for students because it’s important to round out an education,” she said.
Now that the new school year has officially begun, Cook and the school board are looking forward to a bright and promising year.
“Amy Beth has high expectations of herself and of the people around her, and truly believes in the potential of every student in our schools,” Iseminger said. “We look forward to continuing the success Lake Stevens has enjoyed and have great confidence in the ideas and strengths Amy Beth will bring to our community.”
This past summer Superintendent Cook received her doctorate in education from Walden University. She received her master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Washington and her bachelor’s in Speech Pathology, minor in Education from Western Washington University.