Dana Stromberger, 50, of Twisp is vice-chair of the board. She was appointed in 2009 to fill the unexpired term of Bill Boosman when he became mayor of Twisp. In the recent election, she was on the ballot to finish his term and will be required to run again in two years if she seeks another term.
Recruited to run, Stromberger admits she was hesitant. “But I started going to the board meetings and I was just immediately fascinated by the work they were doing and the way they worked together,” she says; there’s even a recitation of a courteous set of “meeting norm” rules at the beginning of each board meeting. “It was time for me to learn something new, and it’s been a really, really, really steep learning curve,” she adds.
Now working as a lead dental assistant for Dr. Steven Harrop, Stromberger graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in construction management and spent eight years overseeing major projects for Seattle’s Howard S. Wright construction firm. She moved to the valley in 1990 after marrying metalworker Barry Stromberger, who teaches metalworking for the district. Their daughter graduated from Liberty Bell.
“I really believe that just because we’re rural and small doesn’t mean we can’t be world class,” says Stromberger, who says she feels it’s important to foster a culture of pride in the schools. On her wish list is the addition of choir and drama to course offerings, and she adds that “It would be wonderful to have a really well developed science curriculum” and more career and technical education courses for students who don’t plan to enter college.
Just over half of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch. “We don’t look poor,” notes Stromberger, but she acknowledges that with this level of poverty, one of the district’s ongoing challenges is to keep it from hampering a student’s academic success.