Ty Swenson
Trish Millines Dziko (seen here speaking at the dedication for the Bethaday building in 2012), the co-founder and executive director of TAF (Technology Access Foundation) and driving force behind the new Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center, was appointed to Washington's Charter School Commission on March 6.

TAF Director appointed to Charter School Commission

Trish Millines Dziko, the co-founder and executive director of TAF (Technology Access Foundation) and driving force behind the new Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center, was appointed to commission that will approve new charter schools and hold them accountable. Here are the details from TAF:

On March 6, the nine members of the Washington State Charter School Commission were announced.

Among them is Trish Millines Dziko, long-time advocate for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, with a focus on youth of color,and executive director of TAF, a Seattle-area nonprofit.
Washington State voters authorized the opening of up to 40 charter schools, over five years, last November. The Charter School Commission will be one of two routes schools can take to be approved, the other being through local school boards authorized by the State Board of Education.

Ms. Millines Dziko, appointed by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, has been working in education in Washington State for over 16 years.

“Whether a school is public, private or charter, in my view it has to create a positive academic environment and a culture of achievement for the students who attend it,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to help make charter schools the best they can be. Our kids deserve the best from the adults who are the gatekeepers to their future.”

Ms. Millines Dziko has served on numerous committees to improve public education: she co-chaired the HB2722 bill to close the achievement gap for African American students and currently serves as the co-chair of the South King County STEM Network.

After leaving Microsoft, where she worked first as a computer scientist and then as its first diversity administrator, Ms. Millines Dziko co-founded TAF, a nonprofit focused on STEM education for youth of color, with her partner, Jill Hull Dziko, in 1996; she has been the executive director at TAF since then.

With Federal Way Public Schools, TAF co-manages a 6th - 12th grade STEM-focused public school in Kent. The school, TAF Academy, was the first of its kind in the state and was held up as an example of alternative types of schools during pre-election discussions and debates about charter schools.

About TAF
TAF is a Seattle-based nonprofit that was founded in 1996, as Technology Access Foundation, to equip students of color for success in college and life through the power of a STEM education.

TAF serves hundreds of underprivileged youth each year through innovative programs that use interdisciplinary, project-based lessons to connect STEM learning to real life. TAF makes systemic change through creative partnerships, by building on our community’s existing investments in public-school facilities and resources to help more students of color succeed in college and STEM-based careers. http://www.techaccess.org/

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