Board of Directors

Susan Fortin
Susan Fortin
District 1
Must reside in Morton, Mossyrock, Onalaska, Rainier, Tenino, Toledo, White Pass, or Yelm
Susan recently retired from the Association of Washington School Principals, where she had worked since 1991 — most recently as AWSP’s Director of Student Leadership.
Don Rash
Don Rash
District 2
Must reside in Adna, Boistfort, Centralia, Chehalis, Evaline, Napavine, Pe Ell, Winlock, or Rochester
Don was a principal in Chehalis and served ten years on the executive staff of the Association of Washington School Principals.
Dale McDaniel
Dr. Dale McDaniel, Chair
District 3
Must reside in Elma, Grapeview, Griffin, Hood Canal, Mary M. Knight, McCleary, Olympia - B, Pioneer, Shelton, or Southside
Dale spent 45 years in public education. His doctoral degree specialized in at-risk students and programs that reduced truancy to increase graduation rates.
Al Cohen
Dr. Al Cohen, Past Chair
District 4
Must reside in Olympia - A or North Thurston - C
Al was superintendent in Olympia and is currently a consultant at the superintendent search firm McPherson and Jacobson, LLC.
Dr. Pamela Farr
Dr. Pamela Farr
District 5
Must reside in North Thurston - A
Dr. Farr has 40 years of education experience as a teacher, building administrator, and district administrator, and has a long history of working with ESD 113. While she considers herself to be an academic, she acknowledges that schooling is a balance between academic achievement and the social-emotional support of our students.
Harry Carthum
Dr. Harry Carthum
District 6
Must reside in Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Hoquiam, Lake Quinault, Montesano, North Beach, North River, Oakville, Ocosta, Raymond, Satsop, South Bend, Taholah, Willapa Valley, or Wishkah Valley
Harry is a former superintendent of Griffin School District.
Mr. Bill Lahmann
Bill Lahmann
District 7
Must reside in North Thurston - B or Tumwater
Bill Lahmann has been a teacher, mediator, legislative analyst, association executive, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. His experiences in small, medium and large districts, as well as three Educational Service Districts, provide him with an excellent understanding of school district needs, challenges and operations, and the important role ESDs can play in providing for student success.

See a map showing the property line between District 5 and District 7, both of which represent parts of North Thurston Public Schools.

Governance Framework

Mission/Vision: To ensure excellent & equitable education for all students through service and collaboration

Tagline: Your goals, our reason


  • Close gaps: We respond to systemic disparities that produce persistent and predictable imbalances in student opportunities.
  • Grow people: We recognize potential and support professional development and learning.
  • Influence change: We advocate for students, families, and districts.
  • Eradicate racism: We confront inequity based on race, and recognize and address our own biases.

Board Roles and Responsibilities (derived from RCW 28A.310):

  • Represent the organization’s customers, clients, and the general public
  • Inform and adopt the strategic plan
  • Think strategically regarding future direction of the ESD and related services
  • Select the chief executive
  • Support and evaluate the chief executive
  • Ensure effective planning
  • Monitor program and service outcomes
  • Provide fiscal oversight and accountability
  • Approve the annual budgets
  • Ensure legal and ethical integrity
  • Ask questions and strive for excellence

Meeting Schedule

Regularly scheduled Board of Directors’ meetings occur the 2nd Wednesday of the month except where indicated. Meetings begin at noon at the agency unless noted otherwise.


  • August 9, 2023
  • September 13, 2023 + work session at 9 am
  • October 11, 2023 2 pm
  • November 8, 2023
  • December 13, 2023
  • January 10, 2024 + work session at 9 am
  • February 14, 2024
  • March 13, 2024
  • April 10, 2024
  • May 8, 2024
  • June 12, 2024
  • July 10, 2024
  • August 14, 2024

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are posted at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Minutes are posted after they are approved at the subsequent meeting.

Policies & Procedures

You will be redirected to the Policies & Procedures page within 3 seconds. Alternative link for the Capital Region ESD 113 Policies & Procedures page


Our ESD serves the school districts in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. To learn more about Board Member requirements, please visit the OSPI website.

Actions and Responsibilities

  • Attend meetings and conferences (see below) and participate in discussions and decision-making.
  • Establish the agency policies, which drive the focus of Agency actions.
  • Evaluate the Superintendent and review the Superintendent’s contract annually.
  • Approve the annual operating budget and employee compensation plan.
  • Inspect and approve expenditures and warrants.
  • Approve all personnel hires, placements, and terminations as recommended by the Superintendent.
  • Communicate with legislators, other agencies, organizations, and school districts as appropriate.
  • Develop knowledge of issues and encourage personal and professional growth.

Term of Office

ESD Board Members serve four-year terms. School Directors from each school district in our region elect the ESD Board Members.


  • Board meetings: Second Wednesday of each month, starting at noon
  • Board work sessions: 3 per year, starting at 9 am on the day of a board meeting
  • New Employee Orientation: 3 per year, starting at 9 am on the day of a board meeting

Annual Conferences

  • Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD): Spring, moves around the state
  • Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA): First week of December, moves around the country
  • Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA): Third week of November, moves between Spokane and Seattle