Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, April 05, 2017, Page 11A, Image 11

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    Polk County News
Polk County Itemizer-Observer • April 5, 2017 11A
Chilly start to market
EMILY MENTZER/Itemizer-Observer
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EMILY MENTZER/ Itemizer-Observer
Jennifer Kubista speaks with classified staff, teachers, students and community mem-
bers at a forum held on March 22 during the final round of interviews.
Central: Kubista believes
in educating whole child
Continued from Page 1A
“I have always enjoyed
coaching,” she said. “Coach-
ing is teaching. That’s just
been with me for forever.
When I started to see more
on the administrative side
that it was more of a busi-
ness rather than what I’m
going to call a teaching and
learning environment — it
was for our athletes, but as I
looked at administration, I
didn’t know if I wanted to do
Kubista kept ties in Taco-
ma, where her family is filled
with educators. Her mom
was a teacher in Tacoma for
30 years, and her identical
twin sister was a teacher for
10 years there before be-
coming a building principal
for the last eight years.
After finishing her under-
graduate work, she complet-
ed an internship for the
Tacoma School District,
working with Title IV as it re-
lates to athletics. In 2000,
she moved back to the
Northwest for good and be-
came the Commissioner of
the Columbia Empire Volley-
ball Association in Beaver-
“I was down here for two
and a half years and loved
it,” Kubista said. “I have met
some really great people in
the Oregon area — really, it’s
the entire state of Oregon
that I was involved with. I
have made some good con-
nections, and kept those
connections even though
I’ve been in Tacoma the last
15 years.”
For Kubista, it’s all about
making connections.
“I need to build relation-
ships from my board to our
district staff to our princi-
pals to our teachers to our
classified staff to our com-
munity members,” she said.
“I’m a big relationship per-
son first and foremost.
Where do we align? Where
do we all have the same vi-
sion, and where maybe
would we be different? And
how do we work together
from there.”
Kubista built Tacoma’s
Whole Child initiative from
the ground up — with the
help of her staff and trusted
The Whole Child initiative
focuses on student success
academically, socially and
emotionally, Kubista said.
“They’re already doing
some of that here,” she said.
“That’s part of what in-
trigued me as I was review-
ing websites.”
Kubista believes in put-
ting students first, constant-
ly asking the question how
to do right by kids so they
can be successful. Part of the
Whole Child initiative was
about removing barriers for
principals and teachers and
students, she added.
“My job is to help us fig-
ure out, how do we make it
better for kids and teachers
and our community, so stu-
dents are successful,” Ku-
bista said. “The day we open
for them, beginning in ele-
mentary and working
through graduation, where
they are going to put them-
selves in a position whether
they know an idea of a ca-
reer they want to go into, or
have applied to community
college or a four-year col-
lege, whatever they want to
get into, that we have paved
those paths.”
After spending a day in
Central School District as
part of the interview
process, Kubista said she en-
joyed meeting everyone and
walking through the build-
ings, watching students and
teachers working really hard.
“There’s some great in-
structional things going on,”
she said. “I got to see some
things that I’m very excited
to be a part of.”
Kubista remains a lover of
all things athletics — partic-
ularly volleyball — and
coaches two volleyball
teams to girls ranging in age
from 7 to 11.
“Volleyball is my passion,”
she said. “I’ve been honored
for the last two years to work
for the Pac 12 as an officials
observer for volleyball.”
When she works for the
Pac 12, she is paired with
three other officials — none
of whom she has worked
with before — and they are
sent to officiate the top
teams in the country.
“It’s fun to see how you
team, and how leadership
works in that way, when
you’re put together really
quickly and do a top match
and work together,” Kubista
said. “For me, there’s a lead-
ership capacity that goes
with that. Working with peo-
ple you’ve never worked
with, adapt, still get the calls
right, making sure the kids
are on the court.”
Kubista’s family tops the
list of priorities, and she en-
joys spending time with
them, camping, hiking and
being outdoors.
“I’m very much about
finding whatever you want
to get into, and go enjoy it,”
she said.
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