Sami West is a reporter for KUOW, where she covers education across the Puget Sound region. She’s been on the education beat for over four years, reporting extensively on the countless ways Covid has impacted K-12 schools. Sami’s reporting has also focused on child care deserts and workforce issues, the role early childhood education can play in improving literacy, and the challenges students, families, and educators face to provide special education services.
Previously, she wrote about education for Chalkbeat Tennessee in Memphis, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin in Appleton, Wis., and the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis. While pursuing degrees in journalism and English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, she interned at The Washington Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A native Minnesotan and seven-year Wisconsinite, Sami is passionate about tater tot hotdish (not casserole), lakeside sunsets, cheese, and the Green Bay Packers. When she’s not attending school board meetings or chasing other education news, Sami enjoys hitting the trails and exploring local breweries with her husband and dog.
Languages Spoken: English
Professional Affiliations: Education Writers Association
Renton grants help high school grads who can’t afford college
Called the Renton Program, the new partnership’s goal is to create a new pathway to higher education for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
Seattle schools approves budget plan, but hard choices remain ahead
Seattle Public Schools officials are celebrating having a solution in place for next year. But they're also quick to caution that Washington's largest school district isn't out of the weeds yet.
How bad was the pandemic on WA students? It depends on where you live, study says
Learning loss varied vary widely from district to district — even neighboring ones — largely depending on poverty.
Do WA schools need air conditioning? Some teachers think so amid the heatwave
The unusually early heat wave is causing stifling temperatures in some western Washington classrooms without air conditioning.
As expected, WA student learning suffered during Covid. Should we be doing more to fix the problem?
A new state report confirms that standardized test scores declined across the board during the pandemic, and it suggests state education officials should launch a tracking system for how districts are helping kids recover.
Seattle Schools plan would drain rainy day fund to help cover $131M shortfall
Seattle Public Schools leaders unveiled their most detailed plan yet to stabilize the district’s precarious financial situation, including a $131 million budget gap next year.
A tearful vigil and demand for change: Family and friends gather to honor Ingraham shooting victim
Seattle Public Schools continues work on a safety initiative launched in response to his death.
As many WA districts lose students, this small-town district faces overcrowding
Across the country, declining enrollment in public schools is forcing many districts to make severe budget cuts. But in Orting, the district has seen a near 20% spike in enrollment over the last three years — an indicator of how the education landscape is shifting in the aftermath of the pandemic.
What should WA schools cut? Districts face unpopular choices
Across the Puget Sound region, districts are communicating a harsh reality — they are confronting fiscal shortfalls and they need to cut costs.
Seattle Colleges faculty, staff demand equitable raises in walkout
Seattle Colleges faculty say they haven't received a significant pay raise since 2009.