The State Board of Education has announced Castulo Gonzalez, a sophomore at W. F. West High School in Chehalis, Washington, as a new member of the board. He will be sworn-in during the June 27-29 Board meeting in Renton and begin his term in July.

On May 1, 2023, members of the board visited W. F. West High School to celebrate Castulo’s selection and learn more about the school. (Pictured above: SBE Executive Director Randy Spaulding, WFW Principal Bob Walters, WFW Assistant Principal Christine Voelker, Castulo Gonzalez, SBE Board Member Bill Kallappa, and CSD Assistant Superintendent Trisha Smith)

Charged with advocacy and oversight of Washington’s education system, The State Board of Education works to ensure compliance with basic education, high school graduation requirements, accountability, and improvement. “We’re looking forward to hearing Castulo’s unique voice and ideas on the Board,” said State Board of Education Chair, Bill Kallappa. “He will be able to offer a perspective that is so valuable to the Board’s work in closing opportunity gaps and considering all students’ individual needs.”

Staff at W. F. West were thrilled to learn of Castulo’s selection for this work.”Castulo’s unique life experiences give him valuable perspective on current issues affecting students in education, and his strong advocacy abilities and growing leadership skills will help him put these experiences to use,” shared School Counselor Libby Rakevich. “I am excited the State Board of Education recognized Castulo’s potential and I look forward to witnessing his continued growth through his appointment.”

When asked about Castulo’s character and qualifications for this work, W. F. West AVID and English teacher Chrissy Fralick shared, “Castulo is one of those kids that when he sets his mind to something, he goes for it 100%. He is determined to bring inclusivity to education and his passion for this shows in everything that he does for our school.”

Castulo was selected by the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) and will join 14 other board members. He will serve as the Western Washington Student Representative.

“I am a diverse character and I represent a certain demographic of people that aren’t represented or talked about often,” said Castulo. “I see this as an opportunity to be a voice for my people as well as others who can’t get their voice out to people who can alter someone’s future in certain ways.”

Students and staff in Chehalis look forward to watching Castulo use his voice, and his passion to serve in this capacity.

“Castulo has taken initiative in several ways to be involved in supporting our school community this year,” shared Assistant Principal Christine Voelker. “He shares the Daily Announcements in Spanish over the loudspeaker each week to represent our student population of Spanish speaking individuals. He is a positive young man who always has a smile on his face and a willingness to find ways to help. I believe he will be a valuable addition in the work to elevate student’s voices in our state. We’re proud he is a W. F. West High School Bearcat!”

Castulo will be honored by the Chehalis School District Board of Directors at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held via Zoom and in person at the Chehalis School District boardroom, 310 SW 16th Street.