The Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors has selected retired educator Mark Watrin to fill the District 4 director position left vacant when long-time board member Mavis Nickels resigned earlier this month. Watrin was one of four candidates the board interviewed and considered at a special meeting Monday night. Watrin will be sworn in at the Battle Ground school board meeting on Monday, March 25.
Watrin is a retired teacher whose career spanned 40 years in a variety of roles as a science educator. Early in his career, Watrin helped develop the Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education, a half-day high school program focused on science in Battle Ground Public Schools. Watrin retired last year from the Battle Ground district, where he worked as both a science teacher and a Teacher on Special Assignment providing professional development to other science teachers. During his career, Watrin also worked in the Vancouver and Camas school districts and at ESD 112 and Washington State University. He continues to participate in science education by volunteering in Battle Ground schools and with activities at the DIG field school through the University of Washington’s Burke Museum. Watrin also serves as a Washington Science Teachers Association representative and previously was a Kiwanis member and leader for 30 years. Watrin and his wife, Donna, have two grown children who attended Battle Ground schools. Donna is also a retired teacher from the Battle Ground district.
“I’ve been passionate about education ever since I got into it,” Watrin said during the application process. “I want to continue to serve and work for kids as a board member. We have a chemistry teacher saying, ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.’ I want to be part of the solution.”
Watrin’s appointment to the board will be through November 2019. The position will be up for election for a four-year term at that time.
Watrin’s appointment will bring the board to full capacity. Earlier this month, the school board appointed Rob Henrikson to replace Ken Root as Director of District 2. Root also resigned his position last month. Both Root and Nickels had served eight years on the board.
Battle Ground Public Schools is one of the largest geographic districts in the state. The district supports more than 13,000 students in 18 schools, including six primary schools, six middle schools, one K-8 school, one 3-12 academy, two comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, and one home school support program.