Dr. Justin J. Blasko
Dr. Justin J. Blasko and his wife, Lara, have raised their two kids and lived in the Sky Valley together since 1999. Lara grew up on the Groeneveld dairy farm and graduated from Sultan High School. Their children are third generation Sultan High School graduates. Lara’s mom graduated from Monroe High School and was the valedictorian. Their son is currently attending Washington State University studying Biology and German and their daughter is completing her associate’s degree as a Running Start student at Everett Community College. She will attend Whitworth University in the fall of 2020. “Our family has benefited from strong schools and the vibrant community of Monroe and the greater Sky Valley,” said Dr. Blasko as he reflected on his family’s time in the area.
Dr. Blasko grew up in Alaska and attended school in the Anchorage School District, graduating from Robert Service High School. He credits his wonderful teachers and coaches there for inspiring him in his pursuit of a teaching career. After graduating from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in English Teaching, Dr. Blasko moved to Washington where he got his first teaching job serving middle school students who were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The school, New Horizon, was a private school who contracted with public schools to support students who had not been successful in the general education setting. This experience galvanized his belief in each child and his passion for educating all students.
Later he began his public school career in the Lake Washington School District where he taught 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade. It was during these years as a teacher that he set a firm foundation in standards-based education and learned the critical role of classroom-based formative assessment and the importance of strong professional learning communities. Dr. Blasko earned his master’s degree in educational leadership at City University and completed the requirements for a Washington State principal’s certification. During these studies, he served as a dean of students/Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) split between Christa McAuliffe and Margaret Mead elementary schools in Sammamish, WA, both in the Lake Washington School District.
Over the next ten years, Dr. Blasko was the principal of three schools in two districts: Ben Rush Elementary, Sultan Elementary, and Samantha Smith Elementary. Each of these leadership positions provided unique challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of all students. It also allowed him to see the amazing things teachers do for their students and the importance of partnering with communities to support these efforts. He completed the requirements for his superintendent credential in 2009 and joined the Monroe School District in the summer of 2010 as the Executive Director of Human Resources. He then went on to earn his doctorate in education at Seattle Pacific University. His dissertation focused on the influence of aligned superintendent and school board governance on student achievement. In 2016 he was named the Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching.
On February 10, 2020, the Monroe School Board selected Dr. Blasko as the next superintendent of the Monroe School District. “The past twenty-five years serving as a teacher, a principal, and a central office leader as well as my continued educational pursuits have prepared me for this role. My local roots enhance my commitment to provide the best educational experience for all of our students. I look forward to working together in order to achieve great things here in the Monroe School District,” summarized Dr. Blasko.