Trish Dziko spent the first 15 years of her career working in the high tech industry as a software developer, manager and consultant as well as a database designer in such industries as military weapons, business systems, communications, and medical equipment. She worked in large (Computer Sciences Corporation, Hughes Aircraft Company, Microsoft) and small (Fortune Systems, Telecalc) companies. No matter where she worked, she was always one of a handful (and sometimes the only one) of African Americans working in her department.
Recognizing the emergence of the technology industry and the lack of access for people of color to become players in the industry, Trish left the field in 1996 and entered the nonprofit industry by starting TAF (Technology Access Foundation). Since then, Trish has led TAF into a leader in providing a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) underserved students in our public school system. She also led TAF in creating the only public school (TAF Academy) in Washington State comanaged by a nonprofit and a school district.A force of nature can't even start to describe this woman who also a dedicated wife and mother as well as a vital member of the Charter Commission. She has a formidable presence and a quick mind so when she asks questions of prospective charter applicants, I lean forward and listen. Trish and I have had great conversations on many topics especially around race.
Trish is considered a visionary and thought leader in the world of public education reform and providing STEM education to underserved students. She has a wealth of experience in building organizations, managing teams, mentoring young professionals and students, planning and program management.
I invite you to explore her webpage but here's the one of her very first blog posts:
Governor Inslee Punks Out (partial)
Governor Inslee had an option to veto the new bill, sign it into law or let it pass by taking no action. He chose to take no action. He punked out. Then he wrote this letter concerning the bill. In this letter he says “However, I remain deeply concerned about the public accountability and oversight provisions of this bill.” So he’s deeply concerned about public accountability, but he’s going to let the schools stay open anyway. He punked out.Welcome, Trish.
He punked out. What he needed to do is take a stand either way. I honestly don’t care which way, just pick a direction. If he believes in charter schools now, then he should have signed the bill. If he still has an issue with charter schools in our state, then he should have vetoed the bill. This no-op business looks like a political move to ensure contributions in an election year. I’m very disappointed.
So here we are. Nothing is really solved because there will be another lawsuit. The schools will remain open under a cloud, which means it will be hard for them to recruit teachers and students. We on the Washington Charter Schools Commission will ramp back up wondering if once again all the work we’re doing will come to a screeching halt when the next State Supreme Court ruling comes down.
Yes, by punking out Governor Inslee made the charter school status in Washington State about as clear as mud.