In the News

Jennifer Veltri named new director of NW Washington STEM Network

Jennifer Veltri has been named the new director of the NW Washington STEM Network, which is a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and is a part of Washington STEM.

“I am so excited to be working in support of the NW Washington STEM Network, the Career Connect Washington Regional Coordinating Network, and the Northwest Educational Service District 189 to bring together stakeholders to advance STEM educational programming and provide critical education and economic opportunities for students in our region,” Veltri said. “The foundation that the Network has built over the past five years is incredibly strong. We have tremendous momentum to create even more opportunities, make additional connections, and leverage resources to achieve our goal of providing every child access to lucrative and rewarding STEM careers.”

The NW Washington STEM Network is a catalyst for STEM education in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and is a part of Washington STEM. The Network provides resources and a collaborative environment for the community to work together to prepare future generations for economic success and connect them with STEM career opportunities in the region. To support this role the Network’s backbone agency is the Northwest Educational Service District 189, which supports all K-12 school districts in those counties.

Veltri, who is a Mount Vernon resident, served for the past two years as the Associate Dean of Instruction at Skagit Valley College. In this position, she was responsible for increasing the quality of instructional programs through securing needed resources and developing strategies to improve program performance measures toward student achievement and equity. At Skagit Valley College she also had the opportunity to work with the NW Washington STEM Network on a variety of projects including as the author of two Career Launch Endorsement applications and as a collaborator on a successful Career Connect WA Intermediary grant. She also authored a grant to secure $480,000 in Career Launch funding to grow enrollment in SVC’s Marine Maintenance Technology program over the next five years.

“Jenny’s passion for education, equity in access, familiarity with the region and the partnerships involved, and sincere appreciation and excitement about STEM pathways make her the perfect choice to be the director of the NW Washington STEM Network,” said Larry Francois, Superintendent, NWESD 189. “She brings to this position years of successful experience with project management, facilitating regional collaboration among organizations, and significant knowledge of Career Connected Learning programming.”

“It is amazing how our Network has grown and evolved over the past five years and speaks to the relevance of our work and desire for businesses, educators and the community to work together to accomplish program goals and leverage each other’s resources,”  said Michelle Judson, who has served as the Network director since its founding. “I’m really proud of what we have accomplished, but we have so much more to do to fully engage communities throughout Northwest Washington.

“According to a recent Washington STEM analysis, if all of the approximately 4,000 graduating high school seniors in the NW Washington STEM (Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom Counties) region this year received a post-secondary certificate, we still would only be able to fill 50% of the living wage jobs here in our region.  But, sadly, the data today shows that only 50% of our students are getting a post-secondary certificate. We need to work harder and smarter to create solutions and partnership to prepare our students for high-demand jobs that contributes to the vitality of our families, communities, and local economies.” Judson said. "Jenny will do a tremendous job of taking the organization to the next level.”

“I am so appreciative of the amazing work that the NW Washington STEM Network and community partners have accomplished over the last five years,” added Veltri. “Moving forward, the goal will be to continue growing this work and also expand our focus on equity as there are important voices and faces missing. I look forward to working within the community to remove barriers and ensure all of our children have access to these amazing career pathways.”

Judson plans to stay involved in STEM education and Career Connected Learning after 35 year in business and education, but now is looking forward some kayaking trips, family time and enjoying Northwest Washington.


Record $1.2 million in scholarships received by Skagit students through WSOS

More than $1.2 million in scholarship dollars were awarded to 56 students in the Skagit Valley to pursue STEM and health care degrees in Washington state through the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS).


“This is a fantastic outcome for our students, as 2019 was a record year for the number of Skagit students being accepted into the program,” said Michelle Judson, Director of the Skagit STEM Network. “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the College and Career Counselors in each Skagit high school. They encouraged and supported students applying for the scholarship and did an outstanding job.“ 


Judson noted the steady growth in the number of Skagit student who have received WSOS support. In 2016, 13 students received scholarships. Thanks to the work of the College and Career Counselors in each Skagit high school and the launch of the Skagit STEM Network, this grew to 40 students in 2017, 53 students in 2018 and 56 students in 2019. The value of the 2019 WSOS grants was also a record setter, bettering the $1,192,000 received in 2018.


The 2019 Skagit Scholars were recognized during a special reception at the Northwest Career & Technical Academy on Tuesday, June 4th. The reception brought together this year’s scholarship winners, lawmakers, education leaders, nonprofits and industry stakeholders to celebrate the value of STEM education in our community. The reception featured remarks by John Sternlicht, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, Washington State Senator Keith Wagoner, WSOS and Skagit Valley College leadership and a past WSOS recipient.


WSOS prepares Washington students for Washington jobs by reducing barriers for low- and middle-income students to pursue high-demand science, technology engineering, math (STEM) or health care degrees at eligible Washington state colleges and universities. Each student will receive up to $22,500 in scholarship dollars, as well as mentorship and professional development to support the launch of their career in Washington state.


The 2019 Opportunity Scholars are the eighth group of students to be awarded this competitive scholarship. This cohort of 1,850 students hail from every legislative district and county in Washington state. Over 65% are first generation college students, 53% are female and 68% are students of color.


Selecting Scholars whose intended majors align with projected job openings is one way in which WSOS maximizes the state investment in education by responding strategically to workforce needs. The highest number of scholarships were awarded to students intending to study engineering (29%), biology & biomedical sciences (21%), computer science (19%) and nursing (15%).

Suzi LeVine, Commissioner, Employment Security Department

Apprentice Roundtable attracts more than 60 leaders from through Northwest Washington


Just an amazing afternoon at the Northwest Washington Apprenticeship Roundtable, with more than 60 top business, education, government and community leaders in attendance. Tremendous discussion about the power of creating a culture of learning and giving all children the opportunity to achieve the American Dream through career connected learning. College is only one path to prepare our children for life and success. Powerful learning how businesses can be creator of talent not consumers of talent.


Our incredible speakers were: Suzi LeVine, Commissioner, Employment Security Department; Eric LeVine, Cell Tracking; Kevin Corrigan, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders; Shannon Matson and Bri Durham, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee; and, Craig Nolte, Regional Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Great panel at the end of the remarks moderated by John Sternlicht, EDASC, with panelist Art Bailey, Nichols Brothers, Leslie Smith, EDCO, and Kristina Hayek, Hexcel.


You can download the presentations below.


Special thanks to the co-leads of the Career Connect NW Team, Alex Kosmides, Northwest Workforce Council, and Michelle Judson, Skagit STEM Network Director, who jointly organized the event.


For further information and how you can get involved in apprenticeship and internship programs, please contact @Skagit STEM Network.


Thanks to our Career Connect Northwest partners: Northwest Workforce Council, Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, EDASC, Nichols Brothers, Skagit Valley College, Northwest Educational Service District 189, and Career Connect Washington.

Craig Nolte, Regional Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
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Suzi LeVine, Commissioner, Employment Security Department and Eric LeVine, CellarTracking, LLC
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Kevin Corrigan, HR Director, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders
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Shannon Matson Deputy Director and Bri Durham Director of Youth Apprenticeship, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee
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Kristina Hayek, Regional Instructional Design and Development Manager, Hexcel
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Strong demand for STEM talent in Northwest Washington

Building on the ‘WA STEM by the Numbers’ work by Dr Jenee Myers Twitchell and the ongoing work by Maud Daudon and the Career Connect WA Team, Jenee has created a series of STEM by the Numbers brochures for each region showing workforce supply / demand information and highlighting leading indicators in support of the Governor’s Career Connect WA goal to reach 70% post secondary credential attainment.  In addition to the brochure there is a two page flier ’Northwest Region K-12 STEM Indicators by Demographics’. 
“Together with our partners, we are advocating for and developing regionalized, cross-sector, and longitudinal data,” said Skagit STEM Network Director Michelle Judson. “We highlight student outcomes above, and in future publications we will report on systems indicators, like high school course offerings and availability of STEM professional learning and supports.”
“The Skagit STEM Network is proof that a collaborative approach between districts brings value and innovation to all,” said Wayne Barrett Concrete School District Superintendent. “As a result of our involvement in the Skagit STEM Network, the Concrete School District participated in STEM Like ME!,which brings STEM professionals into the classroom. This experience has led to new STEM opportunities and course options - we will be offering middle school robotics and solar energy classes. We have partnered with Microsoft and TEALS to offer computer engineering. This will enable Concrete High students to partner directly with Microsoft professionals and pursue industry certifications.” 

53 Skagit County students from every school district receive up to $1,192,000 in STEM scholarship funding through Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program


It's a record!


The innovative public-private partnership known as the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) announces its newest cohort of 1,862 Scholars — 53 of whom hail from Skagit County and are eligible to receive up to $1,192,000 in scholarship support to attend eligible universities and colleges in Washington state.


“This is a fantastic outcome for our students,” said Michelle Judson, Director of the Skagit STEM Network.  “2018 was a record year for the number of Skagit students being accepted into the program (13 in 2016, 40 in 2017, 53 in 2018). This was also the first year that students from every school district in Skagit were awarded a scholarship. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the College and Career Counselors in each high school.  They encouraged and supported students applying for the scholarship and did an outstanding job.”


“We are thrilled to support this cohort of Washington state students ready to pursue a pathway to the jobs our economy needs,” said Naria Santa Lucia, executive director of WSOS. “Our unique suite of student support services coupled with financial support will prepare these students to be the future of Washington’s workforce."


This cohort of scholarship recipients represents the seventh since WSOS was first created in 2011. The scholarship provides up to $22,500 in financial aid along with innovative student support services designed to reduce barriers for students from low and middle-income backgrounds to pursue a high-demand science, technology engineering, math (STEM) or health care degree and launch a career in Washington state.


This year’s applicant pool represents the most competitive yet with nearly 5,000 applications submitted – 1,000 additional applicants than the year prior. Local STEM Networks, in partnership with the statewide nonprofit Washington STEM, have helped raise awareness of WSOS in communities throughout the state.


Supporting STEM education across the state is critical to Washington’s future economy. Every region in Washington continues to grapple with a shortage of students graduating with the STEM degrees and training needed to meet employer demand. The unique model of private sector investment from companies like Microsoft and Boeing, matched dollar-for-dollar by the state of Washington is helping fill the gap; 92% of 2016 graduates were employed in their field or pursuing an advanced degree within nine months.


WSOS has supported more than 6,700 Scholars from every county and legislative district in Washington state to date. WSOS will serve 16,000 by 2025 thanks to robust public and private support.




About WSOS 

WSOS is a unique, public-private partnership that provides low- and middle-income students with financial assistance, career services and other student supports. WSOS is committed to preparing our students to be the face of Washington’s workforce by reducing barriers to earning degrees in high-demand science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health care fields.


About Washington STEM

Founded in principles of equity, partnership, and impact, Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit amplifying solutions that bring the best STEM education to all Washington students, especially those historically underrepresented in STEM fields like students of color, girls and young women, students living in poverty, and students living in rural areas.


About Skagit STEM Network

Using the principles of Collective Action, the Skagit STEM Network serves as a facilitator for STEM supportive activities to plug into and more effectively leverage their efforts across Skagit County. The Network focuses on preparing future generations for economic success and creating a greater connection between Skagit Valley students and local businesses through Career Connected Learning opportunities.

Life-Long Learning is the cover story of the new Sedro-Woolley City Scene winter issue. It’s hot off the press!


Check it out here

High-school students follow passions, career paths at Marine Tech Center 

Great story in the Anacortes American!  "She didn’t think it would turn into a job at Boeing. Now, the aerospace firm is helping pay for her to complete a welding program at Skagit Valley College so it can immediately hire her after."
Read the full story here.
Western Washington University environmental sciences student Ticika Dominick (left) works with Evergreen STEM student Grace Dills, 9, as Dills prepares to take a close look at the tiny organisms that thrive in seawater. Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Heral

School districts working to change the education system


Great coverage in the Skagit Valley Hearld of the discussion by seven Skagit School District superientnendents before the free screening of the documentary “Most Likely to Succeed,” which showcases what its makers deem are the failings in today’s education system, and the need to be innovative for the future.


The screening was sponsored by the Skagit County Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Network and the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC).


“Maybe the thing we need to be focusing on is not memorizing, but thinking of creative ways to create products ... ,” EDASC Executive

Director John Sternlicht said. “Most of the jobs

that are going to be the biggest jobs in the next five to 10 years don’t exist yet.”


To read the article, click here.

Network and EDASC host "Most Likely to Succeed" Free Film Screening at Lincoln


The award-winning documentary Most Likely to Succeed, which provides a visionary approach to transforming schools so that students can equitably succeed in the 21st century, was shown at a free screening to an enthusiastic crowd on September 21, at the Lincoln Theatre. The Skagit STEM Network and the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) hosted the event, which included a 20-minute panel discussion with Skagit County School District Superintendents moderated by EDASC CEO John Sternlicht.


“The purpose of this event is to foster a meaningful discussion about how current obstacles can be overcome and steps towards change can be taken on a local level,” said Michelle Judson, Skagit STEM Network Director. “The film explores compelling approaches that aim to revolutionize education as we know it, inspiring school communities to reimagine what students and teachers are capable of doing.”

The latest edition of the Sedro-Woolley City Scene is hot off the press!


The Summer 2017 issue features the Skagit STEM scholarship winners! A record 10 Sedro-Woolley High School grads each received $22,500 each towards their in-state bachelor degrees, thanks to the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) Program.


Overall, 42 Skagit students received WSOS scholarships!


Click on the photo to learn more.



Forty-two Skagit students will each receive $22,500 towards their in-state bachelor's degrees, thanks to Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Program


The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), a workforce development program unique to Washington that helps put high-demand college degrees within reach of students across the state, announced today that 42 students from Skagit County will receive $945,000 in STEM-Focused Scholarship Funding.


Read the full press release here:

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Sedro-Woolley High School students are recognized for receiving scholarships from the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Program (WSOS) during the 2017 Senior Awards Night. This year, about 25% of all WSOS scholarships in Skagit County went to Sedro

City Scene is hot off the press!


The May issue of the Sedro-Woolley City Scene magazine is hot off the press. 


Check out all the cool things happening here:

Northern State Redevelopment Story


The Seattle Times’ Pacific NW magazine featured the potential development of the Northern State property in Sedro-Woolley.


Washington state, which already had turned roughly 700 acres of Northern State’s farmlands over to Skagit County for habitat improvement and recreational use, in January agreed to sell the remaining 240 acres of the main campus, in stages, to the Port of Skagit County for $5 million. The City of Sedro-Woolley annexed the grounds to facilitate development. And the Port will welcome, as anchor tenant to a new “clean technology campus,” Janicki Bioengineering, which is expected to renovate and reuse some of Northern State’s most historically significant features.


All partners in the deal are calling it a model of intergovernment collaboration. The Port predicts the rebranded SWIFT Center will provide 600 to 1,000 jobs over the next two decades. And perhaps of more interest to the public, it should bring historic Northern State — finally — out of the shadows and into full view.


“The possibilities,” says Port of Skagit spokesman Andrew Entriken, “are pretty much endless here.”


Read the full article here.










Awesome Skagit STEM Network feature in the latest edition of Sedro-Woolley CityScene magazine! Click on the link below to download.

February 2017 City Scene.pdf
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Check out our January Skagit STEM Network Newsletter:

Skagit STEM January 2017.pdf
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Check out Patagonia’s amazing documentary featuring Skagit’s Bread Lab. 


Click on the photo to watch, "Unbroken Ground" and see how Skagit Valley is reinventing food. 

Sedro-Woolley School District expands STEM network – Skagit Valley Herald. Click here to read all of the exciting details about our $200,000 2-year planning grant from Washington STEM!

Click on the image above to hear a terrific Ted Med Talk with Peter Janicki.

Check out the October issue of Sedro-Woolley City Scene magazine:

October 2016 City Scene.pdf
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KOMO TV comes to Lyman - Dr. Amanda Jones is an expert in micro-biology and infectious diseases at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. 


Click here to watch Scientist, will travel for kids!

If you are looking for a scholarship to pursue high demand STEM or health care majors in college, check out the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Program. This program provides low- and middle-income students with scholarships at a 2- or 4- year public or private Washington state college or university. And it’s renewable for up to 5 years! Applications are available starting in January at


Click here to learn more.

Check out the July issue of Sedro-Woolley's City Scene magazine:

July 2016 City Scene.pdf
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Click here to read the awesome STEM story in the first Sedro-Woolley City Scene magazine:

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The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. 


Check out the video here.

See Yourself in Me -

A Spotlight on Women in STEM


The Spotlight on Women in STEM features a series of inspiring videos along with interactive classroom materials that are designed to showcase the tremendous opportunities for women in four of our highest demand, living wage industries in Northwest Washington – IT, Halth Care, Engineering and Construction. The target audience is young women in middle and high school just starting to discover their interests.


Click here to see all of the videos and classroom materials produced by the NW Washington STEM Network.

Lots of great NW Washington STEM news in our latest newsletter:

NW Washington STEM News - October 2022
October 2022.pdf
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NW Washington STEM News - Summer 2022
June 2022.pdf
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NW Washington STEM News - January 2022
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Skagit STEM

Advisory Committee

Wayne Barrett

Superintendent Concrete School District


Phil Brockman

Superintendent, Sedro-Woolley School District


Larry Francois

Superintendent, NWESD189


Darren Greeno

Dean of Workforce, Skagit Valley College


Julia Johnson

Mayor, Sedro Woolley


John Sternlicht



Skagit School District Partners





La Conner

Mount Vernon


Contact Us:

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene kicked off the second annual Spotlight on Women in STEM that attracted nearly 400 area junior and high school students from all Skagit schools. She shared her journey in STEM fields. “As someone who made a career in STEM before coming to Congress, I know how important it is for young women to develop the skills to compete in a 21st century economy,” she said. “Understanding how things work will benefit you wherever you go! I want to encourage you to pursue your passion.”

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