Message from Superintendent Brian Wharton

  • Welcome to the 2022-23 school year!  We are incredibly excited to open the new Southworth Elementary School in September.  It will be a wonderful learning space for our students.  We are equally excited to complete the final stage of our Yelm Middle School project with the construction of the school’s athletic fields.  From a facilities standpoint, our district has changed significantly during the three years since the passage of the bond measure in 2019. 

    The 2022-23 school year will highlight continued focus on student learning and the developmental needs of our students.  We saw significant growth in our students last year, especially those most impacted by the pandemic. Our work plan this year will be tightly focused on student achievement in literacy, math and science. Additionally our staff will work very hard to create a strong sense of belonging for each student.  Each student needs to feel confident and welcomed at our schools in order to achieve at high levels.  

    Our Graduate Yelm! network continues to grow and our goal for this year is to increase the network to at least 275 partners.  Our network is doing a fantastic job leading our community efforts toward graduation readiness at all levels.  Last year our district launched a “Portrait of a Graduate,” and we will continue to embed the portrait’s language into our Graduate Yelm! work. We want our community to join us in building graduates who are “Leaders, Learners, Collaborators and Critical Thinkers.”

    Last year our board started an incredible district program dedicated to community outreach in support of students and families. By mid-year our Community Outreach Team included staff at YHS, RMS and YMS.  Each school maintains a resource pantry of clothing, snacks, school supplies and hygiene products for students.  Additionally, this team connects with families to support physical and emotional health care needs, financial hardships that might impact school success, and helps students engage in school and activities.  Along with the support of school counselors, social workers and community resources, we are meeting our goal of doing everything we can to support student success. 

    I am truly excited for the upcoming school year.  We are very thankful for our families and an incredibly supportive community. 

    Brian Wharton became Superintendent of Yelm Community Schools in July of 2016.  This year will be his thirteenth year with the district, and his 37th year in public education. A graduate of Whitworth University, he also holds a master’s degree from Western Washington University, administrator credential from Central Washington University and superintendent credential from Washington State University. 

    In 2017 Brian led the district’s community impact initiative titled, Graduate Yelm! The district is also proud of it’s partnership projects that include the City of Yelm, Thurston County, South Puget Sound Community College, Nisqually Tribe, the Yelm and Thurston County Chambers of Commerce and the Boys and Girls Club. 

    Brian Wharton
    Brian Wharton

    Executive Assistant:
    Debbie Stillwell