Education is a Priority

I know the importance of education in our communities: how good schools improve people's lives, help them find living wage jobs, and grow our economy.

Photo by:  Kestrel Bailey

Dave & Fam

Dave’s Family (left to right): Eli, Elizabeth, Dave, Rachel, Abigail, and Jacob

Photo by: Kestrel Bailey

Dave Paul is a longtime educator and champion for children, public schools, active military and veterans, sustainable economic growth, the environment, and the protection of women’s, LGBTQ, and minority rights.

For the last 14 years, Dave has served our community at Skagit Valley College. During his time there, he’s demonstrated strong leadership by managing a staff of 80 employees, serving 5600 students, and overseeing state, grant and student budgets of $5.5 million.

Giving all members of the community the opportunity to achieve their potential has always been a priority with Dave. He works with veterans, first-generation students, DREAMers, students with disabilities, displaced homemakers, and non-traditional students throughout Skagit and Island counties on a daily basis to further their education and find jobs that pay living wages. Some accomplishments of Dave’s tenure:

Military and Veterans: A champion of supporting veterans and active duty personnel, Dave oversaw the expansion of support for veteran students at the college, including the creation of the Veteran Student Center, the hiring of Vet Corp staffers, and formation of a student Vet Club. He also implemented the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) for the Department of Defense to allow current military and DoD employees to earn an Associate Degree or certificate.

Environment: An advocate for protecting the environment and saving taxpayer dollars, Dave served on the Sustainable Whidbey Coalition and co-led sustainability efforts on the campus, resulting in energy and printing cost reductions and improved recycling.

Access to College: Committed to affordable college education, Dave facilitated expanded outreach of financial aid to community groups, including instituting College Goal Washington events on both the Mount Vernon and Whidbey Island campuses. He has also led the expansion of student support for Latino students, the addition of bilingual staff members, and dedicated financial assistance for DREAMers.

Dave understands the importance of K-12 public education, and he collaborates closely with school districts, teachers and staff throughout the 10th District. Dave served on his local school board in Newark, Ohio, and was appointed to the Oak Harbor School District Budget Committee in 2009 and 2010. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Oak Harbor Educational Foundation since 2009, where he currently serves as President.

Dave grew up in Enumclaw, Washington, the son of a shop steward (Professional & Technical Employees Local 17) and an educator/small businesswoman. He graduated from Seattle University, received a master’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) and a doctorate from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dave and his wife, Rachel Anderson Paul, live in Oak Harbor with their four children (Jacob, Elizabeth, Eli, and Abigail), where they enjoy kayaking, gardening, hiking, and catching salmon from the beach.