Jim Meadows: Leader in education

By Stephi Smith, Executive Editor

Even though he graduated with the class of 1987, Jim Meadows has not lost his love for education.

Years after he graduated from MTHS, he returned and taught 10th grade History and Spanish 1.

“I think I might even go back and teach actually. I miss it a lot,” Meadows said.

The teachers at MTHS really influenced Meadows career choices and led him down the path of education.

“There were just educators throughout my learning career that were just really influential about who I became and how I grew and I just realized how powerful really good teachers are in students lives,” Meadows said.

When Meadows taught at MTHS he was helping implement the senior project, which had then been called the Application Project. As of this year, the senior project is not a requirement for students to graduate.

Later, he enrolled in Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. There, Meadows received his Bachelors degree in History and Spanish. Meadows recalls fondly a trip to Spain for a foreign study program.Later, Meadows went to University of Puget Sound (UPS) and received his teaching degree.

Meadows said it had been MTHS teachers who had encouraged him to go to a school further away. Originally he had planned on going to a college closer to the Seattle area but was pushed to attending somewhere out of his comfort zone.

A couple years later, Meadows was recruited to work in the Edmonds School District (ESD) to help other teachers in the district.

Later, Meadows began to get curious about policies made by schools and school districts and got his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policies Studies at the University of Washington (UW). Meadows said almost everyone is affected by the policies schools have and that it was interesting seeing how and why these policies are made.

Meadows said it was then he decided to take job with the Washington Education Association (WEA). The WEA helps Washington public school system and increases support for teachers at students in Washington.

“The [WEA] really cares about what they do because they’ve made a decision to do it and they’ve invested a lot of time and practice [into it],” Meadows said, “a big part of what we do is help our teachers grow and be the best they can.”

Meadows is now temporarily on the National Education committee, where he helps teachers on how to work with their students and reach the criteria of Washington state standards.

Meadows is also the [head] of the National Board Certification (NBC), a certificate given to teachers who go above and beyond the required criteria for teaching. Many teachers at MTHS have received the certification and in 12 years, it has gone from .5 percent to 13 percent of teachers in Washington state receiving the NBC.

“It’s not one of those things that just because you do it, it means you’ve passed you have to do really good on it, so it’s cool that a lot of teachers here have done it,” Meadows said.

Last June, Meadows worked with teachers for over 3 hours on how to meet all of the necessary requirements for the NBC.

Meadows is also helping his wife, Andi Nofziger, with the Washington Class Size Reduction Measure, Initiative 1351, which will be on the ballot in November. Meadows is calling voters and telling them to look for Initiative 1351.

“Everyone knows individualized attention helps students learn,” Meadows said.

Meadows said this Iniative seems a bit different than others and that it looks very likely to pass.

During his time at MTHS, Meadows was Associated Student Body (ASB) Treasurer his Junior year and ASB President his Senior year. He had also been apart of Spanish Club and played Tennis for MTHS.

“People really care about the school even after they leave it, [they] have a very strong connection with it,” Meadows said. “People are more accepting across different groups, it’s a pretty welcoming place.”