CWU News

CWU Research Director Named to Ellensburg School Board

A Central Washington University research director will join the Ellensburg School Board next month after being selected Monday night.

Jonathon Henderson, the associate director of research in the Institutional Effectiveness Department, emerged as the unanimous choice from the pool of six applicants and will join the five-member board during July’s virtual meeting.

The father of two said he looks forward to making a difference for his kids and other families in the district.

“I want to do whatever I can to make sure my son and other kids in the community have the best experiences possible,” said Henderson, whose oldest child will be entering kindergarten this fall. “The district does a great job year after year, and I want to help make sure we are maintaining those high standards.”

Henderson, who came to CWU in 2017, pointed to the Ellensburg School District’s 92% four-year graduation rate and its success in transitioning to virtual and hybrid learning over the past year and a half. He also was impressed by the district’s openness to discussing issues around equity and inclusivity.

“I’m excited to join those conversations,” he said. “I have done a lot of that kind of work at Central, and I plan to use those skills in this position.”

Henderson serves on the CWU Workforce Diversity Council and has worked closely with Student Success and the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).

He believes he brings a unique set of skills to the position, including years of experience in research, student data privacy, data governance, data security, and statistical analysis.

But perhaps the most important benefit to Henderson joining the Ellensburg School Board is his desire to build better connections between the university and the community.

“I want to help bridge the divide,” he said. “As a public servant, community engagement and transparency are very important to me, and I really hope to show people that Central isn’t separate from the community. We are part of this community, and we all care about what happens here.”

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,