RELEASE: Principal Rena Deese of Alki Elementary receives Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence!

The Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools announced today that Principal Rena Deese of Alki Elementary School has received the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence, a prestigious annual award for Seattle Public Schools principals who have demonstrated significant achievements in closing opportunity gaps in their schools. The award was presented at Alki’s Monday morning assembly.

Students demonstrating sign language at the assembly signed, “We have a surprise…”; then Lisa Chick, President & CEO of the Alliance for Education; SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau; SPS Deputy Superintendent Stephen Nielsen; SPS Executive Director Helen Joung; and Jody Foster and Jovita Carpenter of the Foster family entered the school gym to surprise Principal Deese with the Foster Award. Alki Elementary School will receive a $25,000 cash grant in recognition of Principal Deese’s achievement.

A Kauai native, Deese has spent the last ten years working in Seattle Public Schools, beginning her career at the former T.T. Minor Elementary, then Leschi Elementary.

The Alki school community works collaboratively to ensure that every student achieves academically, socially and emotionally. For the second consecutive year, Alki has made the statewide list of “Schools of Distinction”, based on five years of improvement in math and English language arts.

“It is a joy and an honor to work together with Seattle Public Schools to recognize excellence among our public school principals. Principals work so hard, and their leadership is a critical factor in student success. Principal Deese is an exceptional leader, and so deserving of this award.”  – Lisa Chick, President & CEO, Alliance for Education

Thomas B. Foster was a prominent Seattle attorney who exemplified excellence in both his professional life and his role as civic leader. To honor his legacy, his family and friends established this annual award in 2000 to recognize outstanding school principals in Seattle. The Foster Endowment Committee and Seattle Public Schools’ staff work together to select winners based on community nominations and school-related data. The award is administered by the Alliance for Education.

Historically, the Foster Award was offered only once a year, to secondary-level principals in Seattle Public Schools. Beginning this year, the Award’s focus is on principals closing opportunity gaps in their school communities, and has expanded to be available to all principals K-12. Four Foster Awards will be presented this year; Principal Deese’s was the first. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, two Foster Awards will be presented annually.

To learn more about the Thomas B. Foster Award, click here. For more information, including details on how to cover our future events, please contact Zeynab Abdulqadir, (206) 205-0324.