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WGU Washington Welcomes John Polm to Advisory Board

Dr. John Polm joins advisory board to help online university strengthen teacher pipeline, increase access to career-focused higher education

Apr 27, 2023

WGU Washington named Dr. John Polm, Superintendent of the Puyallup School District, to the nonprofit, online university’s advisory board. Polm brings an extensive background in education, having worked as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. Over his career, he has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring all students have access to quality education.

“I’m honored to welcome Dr. Polm to our university’s advisory board,” said Tonya Drake, PhD, WGU Regional Vice President, Northwest and Chancellor of WGU Washington. “Dr. Polm knows that maintaining the pipeline of well-trained teachers requires a collective impact. As a leader in K-12 education, he will help ensure WGU Washington remains an important resource for teachers and pre-service teachers who want to grow their knowledge and skills, as well as contribute to our university’s continued development and success.”


Polm was appointed Superintendent of the Puyallup School District – the sixth largest school district in the state – in July 2020. He oversees the education of more than 22,500 students across 22 elementary, seven junior highs, three comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, and several online programs. His roots in Washington’s education landscape run deep. Polm received a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Puget Sound, Master of Education degree from Eastern Washington University, and Doctor of Education degree from Seattle Pacific University. He has served as an educator in the state’s public school system since 1986.

“I believe access to high-quality education is a right – no matter if you are a school age student or a midcareer adult,” said Polm. “WGU Washington reflects the principles on which I’ve built my career. I am excited to offer my expertise and experience as part of the university’s advisory board.”

WGU Washington’s advisory board helps guide the strategic direction of the state’s only legislatively endorsed, online university. In addition to Polm, the board consists of:

·        Al DavisPrincipal, Revitalization Partners

·        Dr. Andre AlfredVice President, Azure Security, Microsoft

·        Bill PoppyRetired Senior Vice President and CIO, Virginia Mason

·        Heather StewartDirector, Community, DISCO

·        Dr. Justin GuilloryPresident, Northwest Indian College

·        Marty BrownRetired Executive Director, Washington SBCTC

·        Dr. Michael DunnPrelitigation Program Consultant, Clear Risk Solutions

·        Michael SchindlerCEO, Operation Military Family Cares

·        Steve MullinPresident, Washington Roundtable

·        Steven MaheshwaryHead of Marketing & Partnerships, Amazon

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