May 31, 2018


We've had an exciting Spring with Superintendent Santorno’s recent announcement of a record-high 89% for the 5-year extended HS graduation rate. The community set an ambitious 50% increase goal by 2020 and this represents a 52% increase since then! Even more exciting, the gaps in HS graduation rates among students of color and students in poverty have closed dramatically. 

Here is a link to the recently released 2018 Community Impact Report.  We encourage you to take a closer look at not only the bright spots, but also where there are opportunities for improvement (see below). Congratulations to TPS leadership and teachers, parents and families, and more than 268 community partner organizations who have built a Graduate Tacoma movement of high expectations and belief in the potential of every child in Tacoma.

I’m also pleased to share news that Tafona Ervin has just marked her 3rd anniversary with the Foundation and excited to announce her promotion to a new position as Executive Director for the Foundation for Tacoma Students. Tafona has served as our Director of Collective Action and coordinated leadership of the four Collaborative Action Networks with our community partner leadership teams. Tafona will manage day-to-day operations of the organization and I will continue to serve as President & CEO with more time to focus on the strategic priorities of the Foundation.

As you may know, Tafona is a proud graduate of Lincoln High School and WSU where she is completing her Doctorate in Education. She has brought a passion to the work of systems change and authentic community-based collaboration, never losing focus of our community’s goal to close gaps in access, opportunities and achievement.  

This is always an inspiring time of year with the graduation season about to begin.  Please look for Graduate Tacoma flags at each of the High Schools and flying proudly over Tacoma City Hall, Tacoma Public Schools, Cheney Stadium and our iconic Tacoma Dome as we all celebrate student success and the Class of 2018. You’ll also see yard signs throughout the city encouraging families to visit our website Summer Learning Tacoma-Pierce and sign-up their kids for fun activities this summer.

As always, thank you for your community leadership and commitment to your Graduate Tacoma movement in service of Tacoma's nearly 29,000 Public School students.
Best Regards,

Eric Wilson, President & CEO
Foundation for Tacoma Students

P.S. Please find a link and copy of the Executive Summary: 2018 Community Impact Report.
Foundation for Tacoma Students
919 South 9th Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 272-1600