Introducing David Beard, Education Policy and Advocacy Director
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
We are thrilled to have David Beard joining our team as SOWA’s Education Policy and Advocacy Director. Take a few minutes to learn about David and what brought him to SOWA.
Where are you from?
I was born in Colorado Spring, CO, but grew up in the Fort Lewis and Puyallup areas of Pierce County, WA. My only time away from Washington State was to go to grad school in Texas and to try out the East Coast in Washington, DC, and Maryland for the past five years. I’m very happy to be back home.
What do you like to do in your own time?
I enjoy volunteering for local organizations and am eager to get back into civic life in Washington State. I am also an avid Madonna fan and enjoy diva pop. When I’m not lip syncing, I enjoy dancing as well and I look forward to taking salsa lessons this fall. My family is very important to me and one of my favorite times of the week is Sunday dinner with the family and playing with my mom’s long-haired dachshund Molly.
What brought you to School’s Out Washington?
My entire career has been dedicated to advancing policies that will improve the lives of children and families. My previous work includes advocating for early childhood programs nationally and in Washington as well as improving the Pre-K – 12th grade system in Maryland. School’s Out Washington will be a great place to continue making sure children have the programs and resources they need to be successful in school and life. Youth development enrichment programs helped me academically and socially when I was in school and I am eager to see that all children have these opportunities.
Tell us one thing that you are proud of.
I am proud of the collective efforts of advocates and parents that worked to pass new state regulations in Maryland that will decrease the overuse of suspension and expulsion, increase positive behaviors, and eliminate disparities in discipline by race and ability. Over the past twenty years, all states saw a dramatic increase in suspension rates due to zero tolerance policies that were intended for weapons, but led schools to suspend more for typical childhood behavior such as disrespect. A host of partners worked together to create a winning policy and communications strategy that led to the first-in-the nation regulations. I hope to be a part of many more policy wins
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