Si Bautista is retiring from the North Central Educational Service District Board of Directors after 27 years, during which he served as chair for 25 years. As a North Central ESD Board member he was s a long-time supporter of educational agencies such as the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD) and the national Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA). He participated in regional meetings, state and national conferences and events whenever possible. He is the retired owner of several McDonald’s restaurants in the Wenatchee area.
Si is a past recipient of the Wenatchee Business Leader of the Year Award and was honored in 2003 with the Lehman Johnson award, given to those who have been long-time community leaders and supporters of the Apple Blossom Festival. He also is a past recipient of the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) award for outstanding community leadership and contributions toward the improvement of public education. In 2008 he was honored with the “Good Scout” award from the Boys Scouts of America. Si and his wife Corina were also presented with the 2009 “Spirit of A.Z. Wells Awards” for their contributions to the Central Washington Hospital and the community at the CWH Foundation gala.
Si and Corina have been long-time area supporters of youth programs, activities, and events. They are well known throughout the region for their sponsorship of programs related to the arts, theater, and academics. North Central ESD Executive Director Suzanne Reister, who worked as Si’s assistant at McDonald’s for nearly 20 years before he retired, stated, “I witnessed countless times Si and Corina’s generosity as they encouraged and helped someone in need. Most people are unaware of all they have done since it was their choice to do it behind the scenes – recognition was never the reason they got involved. They believed in giving back to a community that supported them.”
As chair of the ESD Board, Si worked with six other board members in developing cost-effective programs for the 29 school districts in Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties. The ESD covers 12,600 square miles and services just over 38,000 students.
Dr. Gene Sharratt, retired Superintendent of the ESD remarked, “As Board chair of NCESD, Si had the ability to create the conditions necessary for staff to succeed at high levels of achievement. He believes strongly in empowerment of staff and accountability. Si believes if you have hope for the future you have the power to change the present. Si provided the leadership that kept us focused and accountable.”
Dr. Rich McBride, who retired as North Central ESD Superintendent in June of this year, after serving 15 years, adds, “Si and Corina are incredible examples of what community leadership really is…from their support of the Arts, to youth programs, to their support of school activities…they have been a wonderful asset to the Wenatchee Valley. As ESD Board Chair, Si’s encouragement of our staff and agency to ‘seize the moment’ empowered all of us to keep our eyes to the horizon for those opportunities which will benefit the local schools of our region.”