Yakima School District

Building Leadership Capacity


Yakima School District(YSD) is partnering with Leading Educators to create and sustain an education system that develops in its youth the confidence that they can make a difference in the world and the competence they need to do so on par with other youth in our country and around the world.  

About the Partnership

Yakima School District (YSD) is determined to provide a safe, equitable, inclusive, and high-quality learning environment where every student can thrive and succeed.

YSD leaders also recognize change is necessary to empower every student with the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary for success in Yakima and beyond.


In 2020, the district released a new strategic plan accompanied by a portrait of a graduate to articulate key levers for ensuring all students succeed. That created a renewed focus on student learning, effective instruction, and empowering infrastructure.

The levels of student growth and achievement in the Yakima School District have remained relatively unchanged during the past few years.

  • About 4 out of every 20 children enter Kindergarten meeting readiness standards
  • About 6 out of every 20 students met/exceeded state standards in Mathematics in 2018
  • About 8 out of every 20 students met/exceeded state standards in English Language Arts in 2018
  • The 4-year high school graduation rate was about 75%, and the drop-out rate was about 14%

Yakima School District has an incredibly diverse student population, serving a majority of students who identify as Hispanic or Latino (65 percent). The district’s efforts to advance equitable opportunities and outcomes, especially among multilingual learners, can shed light on opportunities for U.S. education to ensure all students receive a high-quality education.


Leading Educators is supporting leaders to build capacity in key aspects of curriculum implementation and learning strategy as YSD transitions to new high-quality English language arts (ELA) materials, develops principals as instructional leaders, and bolsters professional learning communities (PLCs).

Starting in 2021, the Yakima partnership originally centered on supporting the district with online and hybrid instruction in order to respond to COVID-19 disruptions. Once typical school operations resumed, the scope shifted to focus on professional learning connected to YSD’s Strategic Plan and the Teaching and Learning department’s (T&L) strategic priorities. 

Yakima School District's theory of action for student success.

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Key Activities

Leading Educators is aiding YSD in establishing a shared understanding of current system conditions and a team strategy, setting goals and measures, and gathering data to initiate cycles of inquiry for refining/developing systems that bolster high-quality instruction within Teaching and Learning.

Furthermore, LE is collaborating with the Multilingual Learner (MLL) team to devise a plan that integrates support for MLLs.

Ongoing Professional Learning Design:

Leading Educators  is supporting YSD educators to build their math content knowledge through planning connected to high-quality instructional materials..

Partnership By The Numbers

Icon on a a boy with a backpack

16,000 Students

being prepared to thrive and succeed

Icon of an apple representing teachers

825 Teachers

applying their learning to their planning and practice

White icon of a school

23 Schools

being supported to continuously improve system conditions

Leading Educators Leading Educators
One of the highest obligations of the community is to create and sustain an education system that develops in its youth the confidence that they can make a difference in the world, and the competence they need to do so on par with other youth in our country and around the world.
Trevor Greene, Superintendent

Meet the Team

Our team of experienced classroom educators, former school and system leaders, content and coaching experts, and fearless advocates work shoulder-to-shoulder with North Chicago educators to go further faster.

Dr. Lakita D. McKinney

Managing Director of Networks
Lakita is an experienced leader in education with a demonstrated history of impact in school leadership, leadership development, and education management.
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Emily Schriber

Senior Director
Emily designs and facilitates professional development to build the capacity of teacher leaders.
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Aneka Bruce

Director of Content - Math
Aneka Bruce is a passionate educational leader with the goal of providing equitable access to mathematics for all students.
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Kenneth Jeffers

Program Manager
Kenneth is a project manager & marketer who understands the power of collaboration & advocates for teamwork.
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Dr. Lakita D. McKinney

Emily Schriber

Aneka Bruce

Kenneth Jeffers

Learn About Other Partnerships

Yakima School District is one of a dozen partnerships across the country that are pushing the boundaries of what schools can offer students. Learn more about how we customize our supports to meet the needs and strengths of visionary districts.

Meet Our Partners
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