Interdependent teams, focused on high quality educational experiences matched to the interests and passions of our learners is what I'm about.  Working on these kinds of systems, seeing the satisfaction and joy of our teachers, our students and our families drives me. I believe our communities and our planet depend on teaching our students not only about environmental stewardship, but environmental leadership.  I believe that the one who is doing the talking is doing the learning.  I believe that democracies are fragile and if we do not teach our students how to communicate, to listen, to reflect and learn from each other with humility and passion, we will not sustain our communities. My 20 years in education K- adult, from teaching middle school science to administration in International Baccalaureate to my current home here at SAMI, has taught me that there is still plenty to learn.

Liz Minks, SAMI Leadership





  • National Board Professional Certification if you are considering this option for certification, use this page to help you learn more about the framework and financial considerations. NBPTS is well aligned to PLC and the WA evaluation system. 
  • ProTeach Certifcation use this page to look at the portfolio information.  The ProTeach portfolio, NBPTS and the WA state evaluation framework are aligned in terms of differentiation of practice (Criterion 3), whole class instruction (Criterion 6) and professional development (Criterion 8)
  • SBAC and the Common Core Assessment of the Common Core Standards will be through a Smarter Balanced Assessment or SBAC.  
  • Inquiry Team Inquiry Team or PLC are not department meetings.  These 2 hour, weekly conversations are data driven based on the following four questions; what does the team want students to know and be able to do, how will the team know this, what will the team do for students who do learn and what will the team do for students who don't learn?  If the conversation does not address one of these questions in a cycle of teaching and learning, it is not PLC, it is possibly "PLC Light".  PLC is a research-based best practice for continuous improvement of student learning.  PLC empowers teachers to select and measure teaching strategies that work for their learners. PLC is differentiation of a school because it is team-based and job embedded.  
  • 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (CEL) Washington State, along with the rest of the US, has selected the teacher evaluation framework to best suit its needs district by district.  Danielson, Marzano and UW's CEL/5 D Frameworks are research-based, growth models for professional standards in teaching and learning.  Unlike the previous binary or met/not met model, 5D helps teachers identify three dozen elements of instructional practice that help students learn. Rubrics for every element help teacher clearly discern where they are in terms of their practice and where they would like to go next.