MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Jefferson County School District 509J board member Laurie Danzuka has been named the 2021 Oregon School Board Member of the Year by the Oregon School Boards Association.
The announcement was made at Monday night's school board meeting.
Danzuka was first elected to the school board in 2009. She is the district’s longest-serving current board member, and has served as the board chair four times. She is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Over the past 12 years, Danzuka has been instrumental in advocating for the diverse students in 509j. Danzuka’s dedication to serving students and the 509j community stems from her personal, professional and volunteer experiences. She volunteers her time tirelessly and serves in multiple community roles.
She also has served a vital role with a number of organizations including: Warm Springs Head Start, Warm Springs Education Committee, Oregon Indian Education Advisory Committee, Central Oregon Regional Education network to name a few.
While serving on the board, Danzuka has successfully worked to increase 509J’s graduation rates from some of the lowest in the state when she first joined to now being above the state average. She accomplished this by helping prioritize learning strategies such as professional learning communities and AVID. She also worked on expanding CTE programs and pushed for standardized curriculum across all schools to help students have universal understanding of essential standards.
Danzuka played an instrumental role in helping the district pass a bond measure in 2012 that funded the construction of the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, Performing Arts Center, and the current football stadium at Madras High School.
She has also overseen the inclusion of Native language classes while working hand in hand with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Now, three native languages are being taught in the 509j school district and work has also been done with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to develop a local-Native history and culture curriculum that is now being taught across the district.
Danzuka was re-elected to her fourth term on the school board this year. Her current four-year term ends June 30, 2025.
The Oregon School Board Member of the Year award recognizes outstanding volunteers who make a difference in their communities. OSBA selects one school board member each year from the 1,000+ school board members in Oregon’s 197 school districts. Nominees are considered for their advocacy efforts, leadership and support for student achievement.