Washington Conference is pleased to introduce Michelle Wachter as its new vice president for education.
Wachter brings 32 years of teaching and education administration experience to her new role, including the past four years as Washington Conference's associate superintendent of schools.
"Michelle has served very well here as the associate in the Education department and is well known to the teaching staff," said Doug Bing, Washington Conference president. "We are happy that she has accepted this vice president position and look forward to seeing how God will use her in this new ministry position."
During the pandemic, Wachter implemented weekly Zoom prayer times for principals, coordinated encouraging messages, provided self-care tips for busy educators and spent significant time investing in teachers, principals and a variety of education committees.
"These past two years during the pandemic have been very challenging, and our educational system needed to continue meeting the spiritual, emotional and academic needs of each student," Wachter said. "It was my privilege to walk alongside the incredible educators in our Washington Conference as they rose to the challenge. I am excited to continue serving the Washington Conference educational team in my new role."
Prior to coming to Washington, Wachter was a teaching principal in Bozeman, Montana, and assisted in conference-level educational leadership for four years.
Wachter invested 20 years in educational instruction at Rogue Valley Adventist Academy in Medford, Oregon. As a classroom educator, Wachter loved the challenge of teaching a variety of elementary grades. Each year, she crafted new lesson plans within the context of curriculum requirements to best meet the needs of her students.
"As a teacher, you learn to read the room, to adjust to the needs of your students, to build relationships and to make sure their socioemotional needs are met," Wachter reflected. "I've always been about building relationships — whether with students, parents, teachers, principals or educational leaders in other school systems."
Wachter earned a bachelor's degree in education and a master's in school counseling from La Sierra University. She is currently working on a master's in education leadership through Walla Walla University and has also completed some master's level work in special education.
Wachter started her educational career in California at West Covina Adventist School and then taught at La Sierra Adventist Elementary. While at West Covina, one of her students had an uncle who frequently volunteered in her classroom. Before long, a romance developed with Chip Wachter, a computer systems expert, who would become her husband. The couple has three young adult children and a menagerie of animals.
Wachter is entering the vice president role after Craig Mattson chose to enter a PhD program and serve as full-time principal of Northwest Christian School in Puyallup, Washington, a role that he had been filling on an interim basis for two years. He is leading a pilot program in Washington Conference to implement Marzano High Reliability standards-based learning.
"I have the utmost respect for Craig and look forward to continuing the vision for standards-based instruction to help our students excel," Wachter said. "My prayer is to support and empower educational leaders to excellence. There are great opportunities for us to collaborate and vision together as a team of school leaders for the benefit of our Adventist Education students, educators and school system."