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Campus Notices

CWU Student Appointed to State Council for Student Achievement

Notice Type: 
Event Date: 
Fri, 08/02/2019 to Mon, 08/05/2019


Central Washington University senior Payton Swinford has been appointed to the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), where he will serve a one-year term as the student representative.

As a first-generation college student, Swinford said he wants to remove educational barriers for people who haven’t traditionally had access to higher education. During his term on the WSAC, he plans to work toward removing systemic inequities in higher education.

“I will be an advocate for college students and people who might struggle in the future to become college students,” said Swinford, a native of Port Orchard who received an associate’s degree from Olympic College in Bremerton prior to attending CWU. “I hope to be part of a council that ensures all families in Washington have a pathway to greater academic achievement.”

Swinford is studying history and social studies teaching, and he would like to become a secondary education instructor so he can help young people reach their potential in life. He comes from a background in political organizing, including LGBTQ advocacy, helping secure school funding in south Kitsap County, and working to elect progressive political candidates.

Michael Meotti, the WSAC executive director, said he looks forward to working with Swinford during the upcoming academic year.

“Payton will offer a valuable perspective as a first-generation college student who has attended both a public four-year university and a community college,” he said. “[He will be] a vital voice as we apply our equity lens to improving higher education affordability, enrollment, student support, and program completion.”

The nine-member WSAC is made up of five citizens, including one current student, plus one representative from each of the state’s four most prominent education sectors — independent, nonprofit higher education, four-year institutions, community and technical colleges, and K-12.

The council provides strategic planning, oversight, advocacy, and program administration to support increased student success and higher levels of educational attainment in Washington. With the help of agency staff, the council works to improve educational coordination and transitions; supports Washingtonians through the administration of financial aid, 529 college savings plans, and support services; and advocates for the economic, social, and civic benefits of postsecondary education.

CWU alumnus Jeff Charbonneau, a former state and national teacher of the year from Zillah, also serves on the council, along with Chris Reykdal, the Washington state superintendent of public instruction.

The five remaining members are Maud Daudon, Jan Yoshiwara, Paul Francis, Terri Standish-Kuon and Karen Lee. One WSAC citizen member position is currently vacant.


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