Phone: 360-427-5895Years of board experience: Don Robbins has served over 22 years on the Southside School Board. District Accomplishments: During his time on the board, Southside has finished a complete remodel and an addition of a building. Recently, Southside was able to increase the safety for our community by removing hazardous trees and expanding our on-site parking as well as lighting for our evening events. We have been able to work with the Superintendent to keep Southside's budget in balance while providing comparable salaries for staff and lower class sizes, especially in K-3. Professional development is funded to keep Southside staff up-to-date. Southside has achieved several years of academic achievement awards over the years and it is important to continue to strive toward academic excellence. Most important to Don are considerations for the students, families and community members in our Southside District. Connection to Southside: Mr. Robbins has lived in the Southside community for over 30 years. All four of his daughters attended and graduated from Southside when they were younger. He enjoys working together with the people on the board to do what is best for our students and our community. Other School/Community Involvement: As a local business owner for over 30 years, Don feels his values bring a common sense approach and problem solving to the school board. He is also a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and has the privilege to work with children as a volunteer in Awana and BSF International. Additionally, he has worked to keep our tax burden as low as possible and strive to get the most out of the funds we receive. Professional Experience: Don Robbins has owned his local heating and air conditioning business for the past 30 years. Vision Statement for Southside: Don Robbins hopes to continue to work with others to keep Southside a great place for our kids and a great asset to the community.
Phone: 360-427-9151Years of board experience: Laurie Cox has served over 10 years of Southside School Board. District Accomplishments: During her time on the school board, Ms. Cox has supported the purchase of two new school buses, bought new curriculum, supported the removal of hazardous trees, installed a new parking lot with lighting, fencing, and striping, assisted with community and field days, contributed items for auction, and rallied the community for the levies and bonds. She has worked to provide a balanced budget while supporting all staff with comparable salaries, reduced class sizes, and current professional development opportunities. Connection to Southside: Laurie Cox and her family have lived in the Southside community for over 25 years. Both her children attended Southside School District through 7th grade. She enjoyed participating over 15 years on the Southside Booster Club. Other School/Community Involvement: Mrs. Cox has assisted the Booster Club with the Community Festival by organizing all of the outside events. She sought donations to pay for all the outside bounce toys and other donations for silent auctions. She coordinated with Washington Fish and Wildlife for trout for the fishing pond. Laurie assisted with fence building for the baseball field, installation of the fencing slats around the well and removal of scotch broom. She has supported and volunteered at several field event days, after school talent show and dances, and field trips. Laurie Cox is a member of the Cranberry Lake Board. She has developed and facilitated science and student field trips to study our environment and resources at a neighboring lake. Several Mason County schools have used the environmental education provided at Cranberry Lake. Laurie is working with district leadership and our local fire department to complete a grant received which will provide the school with a generator adding to its ability to serve as a site for community in the case of a natural disaster. She held the responsibility of Box Tops for Education Coordinator, collecting tops and providing the school with annual recess and physical education equipment replacements. Laurie Cox supports the students and families served at Southside as well as all of our local community members. Professional Experience: Laurie Cox works for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as a forester. She is a Planning Section Chief for one of Washington State’s Incident Management Teams and the Incident Commander for the Western Washington Inter-Agency Fire Academy. She assists with training fire fighters from Washington and neighboring states and go to wild fire destinations to control and eliminate dangerous fires. Vision Statement for Southside: Laurie Cox has a vision to ensure Southside is sustainable as an elementary school in Mason County. She wants the school to provide a nurturing and safe learning environment where every student can receive a high quality of education and maximize learning opportunities.
Phone: 206-501-8559Years of board experience: Andrea Bichsel has served 2 years on the Southside School Board. District accomplishments and contributions: Ms. Bichsel has reinforced Southside’s academic efforts towards receiving the School of Distinction Awards. She supported the removal of hazardous trees and replaced them with increased parking, fences, lighting and restriping, increased communications, and maintained a balanced budget while providing comparable salaries and smaller class sizes. She values the professional development provided. Andrea and her family volunteer and contribute to Southside events including the haunted houses, auctions, community festivals and field days. They have consistently supported Southside with the passage of levies and bonds. Connection to Southside: The grandmother of Andrea's husband was a librarian at Southside- her picture's on the wall! His mother grew up here, and he spent most weekends and summers here. Andrea and her family moved to Shelton permanently five years ago, and started her youngest son in kindergarten at Southside. Her three older kids grew up near Seattle; but have spent many weekends here for some rest and relaxation. Other School/Community Involvement: Mrs. Bichsel has 15 years of experience on other boards (Southside Booster Club, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Altissimo in Music, Octava Chamber Orchestra, Software National Users Group). Andrea volunteered in the community almost every year since she was 12, starting with food banks and tutoring kids after school. In college, she raised funds for groups advocating diversity and equality. She played cello with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra for 20 years, served on the board for two years, and helped organize many community events for them and other music ensembles. She volunteered for several years in her children's classrooms, and was a Math Olympiad coach for three years at Briarcrest Elementary in Shoreline, WA. She served on the Southside Booster Club for almost three years, organizing and contributing to successful fundraisers like OysterFest and silent auctions. Through work, she has volunteered at events encouraging children in technology. She is a member of the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce through her nursery business. Professional Experience: After putting herself through college with scholarships and several part-time jobs, Andrea Bichsel worked her way up from receptionist to computer and networking consultant at Technology Management Group. She joined Microsoft in 2000, worked there as a technical writer and program manager for over a decade, and recently returned after a three-year sabbatical. She has authored several books and too many web articles to count, mostly targeted at IT admins for Windows Server, Office, SharePoint, Defender, and Dynamics 365. During her sabbatical, she started a small, mom-and-pop plant nursery and continued writing as a freelancer. Vision Statement for Southside: Andrea wants Southside to be a safe and welcoming school district where all students can experience success and take advantage of increased opportunities.
Phone: 360-426-9370Years of school board experience: Don Pogreba has served over 10 years on the Southside School Board, two terms during the time of his children and currently during the presence of his grandchildren at Southside. District Accomplishments: Mr. Pogreba worked with the community to pass bonds and levies that allowed for the purchase of additional property and the construction of the current buildings. Mr. Pogreba has served during our School of Distinction accomplishments, the removal of hazardous trees and construction of a new parking lot, fences, lighting and restriping for safety. He served and contributed to the district remodel, big toy purchase and installation, HVAC system upgrade, increased communications, and creation of a balanced budget. Don has supported staff by maintaining comparable salaries, smaller class sizes, and professional development on current needs. He and his wife volunteer for many purposes and especially like to contribute to Southside community and field day events. Connection to Southside: Don Pogreba and his family moved into the district in 1986. His son and daughter attended Southside kindergarten through 7th grade. His granddaughters currently attend Southside. Other School/Community Involvement: Don Pogreba is currently a member of the Mason County transit Authority Board and a member of the Mason County Transportation Improvement Program Citizen Advisory Panel (TIP-CAP). Professional Experience: Mr. Pogreba worked for 25 years with Thurston County Public Works Department retiring as assistant design engineer. Since retiring, he has provided engineering consulting services for the Mason County Public Works Department. Vision Statement for Southside: Don Pogreba hopes to provide a safe and nurturing school where all students can experience success and provide sound fiscal management for the Southside School District taxpayers.
Position #5Due to a resignation, Position #5 of the Southside School District Board of Directors is now vacant. As per district policy, the remaining board members intend to appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term for Position #5, which expires in 2021. All registered voters who reside within the district boundaries are invited to nominate candidates, or themselves, for this position. All nominees are asked to submit a biographical sketch along with a statement or letter about their interest in being a board member. Nominations can be submitted to the school office until 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 18, 2019. The board will screen all nominations, conduct interviews (if necessary), and hope to appoint a new board member at the regularly scheduled board meeting on November 21, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the school office at (360) 426-8437.
School Board Meetings are held in the school library, starting at 6:30 pm.