Legislator of the Year Archive
Washington STEM’s Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of the State Legislature who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that promote excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math education for all Washington students, especially those furthest from opportunity.
2023 Legislators of the Year
Representative Chipalo Street, District 37
Representative Chipalo Street (Democratic Party, 37th District), supported a funding proviso for the Department of Children, Youth and Families that will support production of new early learning data dashboards. In the House, he serves as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee as well as on the Environment and Energy; Innovation, Community, and Economic Development; and Veterans’ committees.
Representative Jacquelin Maycumber, District 7
Representative Jacquelin Maycumber (Republican Party, 37th District), led a bipartisan effort to pass a bill for five regional pilot apprenticeships programs (HB 1013) that will develop collaborative partnerships between local schools, community or technical colleges, labor unions, registered apprenticeships programs and local industry groups. Rep. Maycumber is currently serving her third term as the House Republican Floor Leader. See her acceptance speech.
Senator Lisa Wellman, District 41
Senator Lisa Wellman (Democratic Party, 41st District), sponsored legislation concerning High School and Beyond Planning (SB 5243) to develop an online platform so students across the state will have equitable access to after-high school planning resources regardless of their zip code. She serves as the chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. She was also chosen by her colleagues to serve on the Energy, Environment & Technology Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee. See her acceptance speech.
2022 Legislator of the Year
Representative Dave Paul, District 10
Representative Dave Paul, (Democratic Party, 10th District) was selected as the 2022 Legislator of the Year for his leadership and efforts to pass HB 1867: Dual Credit Program Data in the 2022 legislative session. HB 1867 requires dual-credit data reporting including information about course completion and successful transcription of credit. The legislation also ensures that all measures are available by race, income, gender, geography, and other demographics. This reporting will help inform state policy recommendations for closing dual credit gaps from the moment students enroll in a course all the way through to postsecondary progress.
2021 Legislators of the Year
Senator Claire Wilson, District 30
Senator Claire Wilson (Democratic Party, 30th District), was selected for her leadership and efforts in passing the Fair Start for Kids Act during the 2021 legislative session. Senator Wilson’s legislative work builds on her 25 years at the Puget Sound Educational Services District, where she was an administrator in early education and family involvement. As vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, her extensive experience with education and families has informed a wide range of legislation, including the landmark Fair Start for Kids Act and 2020 legislation that requires comprehensive, medically accurate sexual health education to be offered to students in public schools across Washington.
Representative Tana Senn, District 41
Representative Tana Senn (Democratic Party, 4st District), was selected for her leadership and efforts in passing the Fair Start for Kids Act during the 2021 legislative session. She has championed legislation to make child care more affordable and accessible, keep our families safe from gun violence, close the gender pay gap, and secure access to mental health services and social emotional learning for our kids. Tana served as one of the first co-chairs of the Oversight Board for the Department of Children, Youth and Family Services.
2020 Legislators of the Year
Senator Emily Randall, District 26
Senator Emily Randall (Democratic Party, 26th District), was born and raised on the Kitsap Peninsula. As a community organizer and advocate for health care and education, she is focused on putting the people of the 26th District first. She was elected to the state Senate in November 2018. Emily is now the chair of the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee and vice chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. She also serves on the Senate Transportation Committee.
Senator Steve Conway, District 29
Senator Steve Conway (Democratic Party, 29th District), having served the 29th District as a State Representative for 18 years, is now the Democratic senator for the Pierce County district that includes South Tacoma, East Lakewood and Parkland. In the 2020 Legislative session, Sen. Conway helped champion a $356,000 LASER Proviso to OSPI and Washington STEM. In addition to serving in a leadership role as the Vice President Pro Tempore, he is a member of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and also serves on the Senate Ways & Means and Health & Long Term Care committees.
2019 Legislators of the Year
Representative Vandana Slatter, District 48
Representative Vandana Slatter (Democratic Party, 48th District), was a primary sponsor of the Career Connect Washington legislation during the 2019 session, which has the goal of 100% of Washington students participating in Career Exploration and Career Preparation activities, and 60% of all students participating in a Career Launch program by 2030. She is also the founder and Co-chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation Caucus, and serves on the Future of Work Task Force, the Electric Airplane Working Group, and the Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Work Group.
Representative Mike Steele, District 12
Representative Mike Steele (Republican Party, 12th District), is passionate about education, early childhood learning, career-connected learning and STEM, and family-wage career pathways. During the 2019 legislative session, he was the primary sponsor for house bill 2SHB 1424, which empowers students to use career and technical education courses and career preparation work. He is deeply committed to making responsible policy that serves students in rural areas as well as those in more metropolitan areas of the state.