Executive Director of College and Career Readiness, Federal Way Public Schools
WHY YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH IGNITE?
IGNITE is an incredible program that continues to transform aspirations and opportunities for our young women. Not only are students and staff exposed to meaningful, innovative and endless possibilities and careers in the world of technology through IGNITE, they are also exposed to the inspiring stories and backgrounds from professionals in the field that model resilience, determination and risk-taking.
HOW HAS IGNITE INSPIRED YOU?
After every IGNITE event, I’ve asked myself, “How can I make this happen for all of our scholars?” I’m inspired by the room full of over 100 fifth grade girls at the Microsoft campus that were collaborating over code with Microsoft staff. I’m inspired by the high school group of girls at Deloitte working together to design and market a new app with Deloitte executives. I’m inspired by the thoughtful questions from students and the vulnerability of professionals during each IGNITE panel. In all of these instances, our young women are able to see and imagine a journey they would not have otherwise imagined, and they are treated as the contributing and capable human beings they are.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE OUR WIDER COMMUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT IGNITE?
I would like the wider community to know that IGNITE is a program that breaks down barriers, it is a program model that we should be replicating and working toward providing to all of our scholars and it is a program that facilitates positive change through the culture of the school. It has helped to spread a culture of responsibility, empowerment and support that will build the new generation of female leaders. The experiences provided from IGNITE are preparing female students to become responsible and confident citizens in a culturally diverse society.
MORE ABOUT SAMMY ANDERSON:
Sammy Anderson is the Executive Director of College and Career Readiness for Federal Way Public Schools. She received her BA in English and Government and completed her MA in Educational Leadership at Eastern Washington University. She has been in education for 16 years, 14 of which were spent as an educator and administrator in Spokane, WA. She taught English, Advanced Placement, Creative Writing, Debate, Leadership and ASB at Volunteers of America Crosswalk Teen Shelter School, John R. Rogers High School and North Central High School, where Sammy received the Spokane Teacher of the Year Award and a Spokane Chase Youth Award.
Sammy served as an Assistant Principal at Salk Middle School and Joel E. Ferris High School where she created personalized intervention programs that maximized the academic success of students while at the same time providing a number of social supports that led to significant increases in student achievement including: participation in Advanced Placement courses, students passing Advanced Placement exams, students with college ready transcripts, freshman on track rates, high school graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment rates for all students, particularly first generation college students. Additionally, Sammy created a district and state recognized project based learning program that infused engaging and compassion focused teaching with technology innovation for at-risk youth through partnerships with mental health therapists, the Eastern Washington University Psychology Department, New Tech Network, Apple Computers and the Heart Math Institute.
In her current position with Federal Way Public Schools, she is overseeing K-12 Counselors, Career/College Specialists, Career and Technical Education and works with school principals and college and career readiness teams to implement a meaningful comprehensive K-12 college and career readiness system. She is a leader dedicated to ensuring equitable access to privileged knowledge and opportunities for all students. Sammy takes risks in leading innovative, intentional and meaningful programs, while exposing staff and students to cutting edge research and theory. As an at-risk youth, Sammy dropped out of Joel E. Ferris High School at age 16 and found her path to success through resilience, determination, compassion and education. She now resides in Federal Way and enjoys exploring the beautiful parks, trails and community with her husband and two children.