Laurie Willoughby helps make bank

Gabie Owens, Staff Writer

Imagine yourself going to the Washington State Capitol building to talk with legislators about budgeting for your school district. This might seem like a politician’s job, but is something that Liberty senior Laurie Willoughby did. Willoughby went to the Washington State (WSSDA) conference, “Washington State School Directors’ Association” and learned more about how the Issaquah School District can budget better and give new ideas and goals to a district with over 25 schools.
The conference was on February 12-13 at South Olympia Community College. Willoughby was one of four students in the Issaquah School District as advocates for making a game plan for the upcoming years.
“WSSDA is trying to persuade legislators to make a budget plan which fully funds education and continues all of the current funding levels that we have right, without affecting the Issaquah School District. The school boards are being advocates for students and future students in order to provide them the best education they can have,” Willoughby said.
Willoughby passionately believes that this conference was important for her and many other students from different school districts. All the school boards met in a massive lecture hall, which included all the Washington school districts and different public speakers and superintendents to talk about their main goals as a state to budget and plan for a better future.
“My favorite part was definitely meeting with all the different legislators because it was a weird thing to know that these adults are trying to do the best for our education, but may not have kids or know necessarily how school works. It was interesting how we’re trying to convince them that we are worth their time and effort. We are not just a student body. We will be serving in the real world soon,” Willoughby said.
Willoughby learned through the conference that the Issaquah School District continues to find better ways for their schools to be budgeted effectively. WSSDA showed Willoughby a new perspective on what the ISD does for students like her.
“The fact that this is from the state and that we don’t have to pay for education at the moment is so beneficial and some people take it for granted, “Willoughby said.
The ISD is creating new ideas to make their schools more successful in the future. The main goal of this conference was to start processing new ideas for the Day on the Hill, which was on February 13. The Day on the Hill is when all the students go to the Capitol building in Olympia and get to talk legislators and communicate what the district wants for their schools. Willoughby says she was so intrigued to go see how each school district budgets.
“I think it was more meaningful that we as students were there because we get to advocate for ourselves and show them that our passion, effort, and needs as students are invaluable,” Willoughby said.