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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Make a Difference in the Lives of Our Children

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Get informed; get out and vote this November

By Jillian Chandler | Photo by In-Gear Media

“It is so rewarding, and such a blessing, to serve with such an amazing school board and district administrative team. Every one of these amazing people truly cares about this community, our school district and, most importantly, doing what is best for the kids.” - David Olson

David Olson served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years, enlisting right out of high school. Upon retirement, in 2005, he and wife Tonia (who is originally from Washington state) were ready to move closer to home. Parents to four children at the time, the couple diligently researched school districts and discovered Peninsula School District—one of the best. Being married to a teacher, the quality of the teachers, academic success, and reputation of the Peninsula School District was very important to us as a family. In addition, what exceptional sports and extracurricular programs we have in the PSD—many nationally ranked. So impressive! “It was then that David and his family chose to settle down in beautiful Gig Harbor. “We felt this would be a wonderful place to raise our family,” he says.

Once the Olsons had settled into their new community, David became involved with his children’s sports teams. As he traveled with them around the district to various events, he began noticing that some facilities were in declining condition. “I started attending school board meetings to see what was happening about it,” he says. “At the meetings, I saw a strong emphasis on “all kids” going to college, hearing little about alternate pathways such as vocational education (CTE) or military options. After a conversation with family and friends, I decided to run for the school board. I felt my long background working with youth would be beneficial.”

David was first elected to the Peninsula School District Board in 2013, in which he served as Vice President, and ran successfully for reelection in 2017, currently serving as the board’s President. “It has been such an honor to serve on the school board these past eight years,” he shares.

“I have been involved in my community for so many years, and in different parts of the world. I have seen what education looks like in Korea, Guam, Puerto Rico, Italy, and other parts of the world, because my family lived there; I volunteered in the schools there,” reflects David. “As a career military and having served on numerous community boards in the past, I believe my success as President is not being afraid to ask difficult questions, working collaboratively with my fellow board members and District Admin, and always keeping the focus on what is best for the kids.”

David can attest that “the Peninsula School District is incredible,” adding that over the past few years, the community has come together and rallied for the school district. “Passing the levy and bond was such a strong show of support. The teachers and staff are outstanding and really care about their students.”

David shares that it has been rewarding, and a blessing, to serve with the incredible School Board and District Administrative team. “Every one of these amazing people truly cares about this community, our school district and, most importantly, doing what is best for the kids. Through the entire pandemic, this board and district admin team has never wavered or second-guessed itself. I am honored to serve with them.”

With a lifelong passion for serving others, it is important to David to support local organizations and causes. “I was raised to give back and to make things better than you found them.” Today he sits on the Board of the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation; serving on the Education Cabinet and as Chair of the Students of Distinction Committee; and is a member of the Friday morning Rotary Club. He previously served as President of the City Club of Tacoma; Vice President of the Hilltop Business Association; and served on the board of the local FISH Food Bank.

“I care deeply about this community, and I am passionate to make it the best possible place to live and raise your family. I am committed to working with the Board and various community stakeholders to make the Peninsula School District the very best in the State. To provide all students with a pathway to achieve academic excellence and make sure they have the tools—academically, emotionally, socially—to achieve their unique goals.”

Help David improve education, together. Re-elect David Olson for Peninsula School Board.

If reelected, David Olson hopes to accomplish the following: • Continue to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all students to achieve their goals • Complete the new Strategic Plan • Continue to expand vocational education opportunities providing additional post-graduation pathways for all students • Become a nationally recognized Lighthouse school district based on academic excellence • Transition to a fully funded Navy JROTC program

David Olson Peninsula School Board

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