NEWESD 101 strives for continuous improvement in each of our departments, and in all of the programs and services we provide. We attempt to constantly navigate north – to improve quality in professional practices and in student learning, with a prioritization on building respectful relationships with those we support.

NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 promotes educational excellence by
delivering essential, cooperative services to schools and other learning communities.

NEWESD 101 service area:
 NEWESD 101 is responsible for the seven northeastern counties of the state, providing cooperative services in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties. NEWESD 101 is the state's largest ESD in the number of districts served, counties served and geographic region served.

Land acknowledgement: NEWESD 101 is situated on the ancestral land of the Plateau Peoples who inhabited the highlands between the Rocky Mountains and Pacific coast, a vast area including portions of Eastern Washington. Some of the region's tribes include the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Kalispel bands, along with those making up the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, who have occupied these lands since time immemorial. 

NEWESD 101 acknowledges the resiliency of these Indigenous peoples who have suffered trauma brought on by centuries of colonialism and racism. We extend our deepest respect and gratitude to Native peoples as original stewards of this land. 

We at NEWESD 101 are committed to restorative justice through inclusion and anti-racist actions.


      NEWESD 101 quick facts:

  • Service area (in square miles): 14,026
  • Public school districts served: 59
  • State-approved private schools: 45
  • State-approved charter schools: 4 
  • Public school enrollment: 96,451
  • Private school enrollment: 7,299
  • Charter school enrollment: 482
  • Total regional enrollment: 104,232
  • Counties served: 7

Superintendent's message

Following 16 years as a principal and superintendent in northeast Washington, I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to now serve as superintendent of NEWESD 101. To better familiarize myself with our region, I have visited many schools and districts in recent weeks. While doing so, I have noticed a sense of “normalcy” about the new school year. Together, we have recently been through many challenges, and while COVID has not disappeared, it is my hope that our students, staff and communities are beginning to settle into “normal” school routines and experience the joys associated with a return to learning and the freshness of a new school year. 

Within the NEWESD footprint, there are approximately 104,000 students, 59 public school districts, 45 state-approved private schools and four charter schools. While, generally, our schools and districts compete on the athletic field and in extra-curricular activities, it is my belief that educating and supporting the social and emotional learning of students should not be a competitive endeavor. 

As superintendent, one of my goals is to foster a collaborative environment where we work together as educators and communities on behalf of all students and families we serve. Together we can uplift students, schools and districts within our region as we strive to ensure each child has the opportunity to pursue their individual hopes and dreams. 

At NEWESD 101, we take great pride in supporting and serving schools and districts. Undoubtedly, there are different educational philosophies and approaches within the region. A common goal we all share is ensuring each student has access to post-secondary opportunities after completing high school. 

In support of this goal, Innovia Foundation’s LaunchNW initiative recently announced a supported promise scholarship program designed to remove financial barriers and coordinate integrated supports for students in pursuit of college, technical and career training. This initiative can truly be a game-changer for many regional students and families.

Imagine a system where financial barriers do not limit a student’s ability to pursue their post-secondary hopes and dreams. 

Together, through the hard work of our educators and school systems, and in conjunction with our community partners and programs like LaunchNW, we can make this dream become a reality for the students WE serve. To learn more about the Promise Scholarship and LaunchNW, please visit https://launchnw.org/.

I appreciate each of you for everything you do to support the students and families in our region. Regardless of your role in the education system, your hard work, dedication and belief in the importance of education positively impacts the lives of students each and every day. 

Thank you, and have a wonderful 2022-23 school year!

Robert Roettger
[email protected]

To read the NEWESD 101 shared team goals, superintendent goals and Board of Director goals click here.

Mission and History of ESDs
Statutory mandate: Chapter 28A.310 RCW
It shall be the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish educational service districts as regional agencies which are intended to:
*  Provide cooperative and informational services to local school districts;
*  Assist the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education in the performance of their respective statutory or constitutional duties; and
*  Provide services to school districts and to the school for the deaf and the school for the blind to assure equal educational opportunities.

Nine ESDs: A statewide network
There are nine ESDs in Washington, each serving a specific geographic region of the state. 
Click here for the Washington Association of Educational Service Districts.

History of ESDs:
Washington's nine ESDs have evolved from a system that began as 39 individual county offices of education. In 1969, the county offices were replaced by 14 regional offices known as Intermediate School Districts, or ISDs. Later consolidation reduced the number of districts to 12 in 1972; then nine, in 1977.

Staff photo 50 yearsFive of the original 14 ISDs -- 101, 105, 112, 113 and 114 -- were largely unaffected by consolidation other than their eventual change in name from Intermediate School Districts to Educational Service Districts, or ESDs.

While the number of ESDs has been periodically reviewed, numerous studies have recommended no change from the present nine. Legislative studies in 1982 and 1995 commended the ESDs for providing affordable, high-quality service to schools.

In 2009 and 2019, the ESDs were recognized in 40- and 50-year anniversary celebrations at the state Capitol in Olympia.

The photo a right shows the staff of NEWESD 101 in its 50th anniversary year.

Washington ESD Map

ESD numbering system: As seen in the accompanying map, each ESD carries a unique identifying number, ranging from 101 to 189, that appears to follow no particular sequence. In fact, the numbering system was a product of the 1970s' consolidations.

In 1972, ESDs 102 and 103 became ESD 123; and ESDs 106 and 107 became ESD 167. In 1977, the next round of consolidation turned ESDs 108 and 109 into ESD 189; ESDs 110 and 111 became ESD 121; and ESDs 104 and 167 became ESD 171.  

NEWESD 101 history:
CourthouseLocations: From its original home in the Spokane County Courthouse, pictured at right, the growing organization migrated to a pair of north Spokane locations in the 1970s and 80s before purchasing its current site on South Regal Street in 2001. A 5,000-square-foot educational conference/event center, behind the Regal office complex, was built the same year. In 2018, the agency expanded the event center with a 7,000-square-foot addition named in honor of former NEWESD 101 Superintendent Brian Talbott, Ph.D. 

Agency name: In 2009, the organization re-branded itself to more definitively reflect its regional identity and commitments. With "NorthEast Washington" added to its name, ESD 101 became NEWESD 101.

Carl Putnam in 2009Leadership: One of the most important and inspiring figures in NEWESD 101 history was board director Carl Putnam of Inchelium, pictured at left. Putnam served on the first ISD board in 1969 and remained a director for 28 years. Upon retirement, he was the longest-serving educational director in the state, completing 50 years of total board service at the local and regional levels. 

Putnam was a driving forcing behind the ESD's successful development of satellite television in the 1980s and its expansion in the 1990s. He was renowned for his commitment to public service, his dedication to rural schools, his vision, wisdom and knowledge. He remained an articulate and steadfast supporter of public education until his death in 2018 at the age of 101. In 2019, a room in the Talbott Event Center was named in his honor.
Three superintendents
Seven superintendents have led the agency through its history: Van Emerson, 1969-74; Ben Larson, 1974-75; Bob Price, 1975-81; Ed Luders, 1981-82; Brian Talbott, 1982-98; Terry Munther, 1998-2008; Michael Dunn, 2008-2022; and Robert Roettger, 2022-Present.

Nearly 40 years of history:
At right, NEWESD 101 Superintendents Talbott, Munther and Dunn, photographed in 2019.

All staff 5o year
All staff 5o year
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