NAFIS honors Sierra Sands trustee

NAFIS honors  Sierra Sands trusteeSierra Sands Unified School District Board Trustee Amy Castillo-Covert brought home an award from the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, which honored her recently for her contributions to the program.

Castillo-Covert recently returned from the NAFIS Fall Conference, where impact aid reimbursements were allocated to districts that are impacted by the presence of nontaxable federal property.

Since the land owned and operated the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake — which drives some 86 percent of the local economy — is not subject to traditional tax revenue streams that feed local education funding, NAFIS funding offsets some of that revenue loss. “It helps ensure students who attend schools on or near federal property have access to quality education,” said a NAFIS representative.

“Castillo-Covert has been active in the Impact Aid community for more than 15 years. She has served in a number of capacities and is currently her school district’s representative to NAFIS.”

She also sits on the executive boards of the Federal Lands Impacted Schools Association and Mid-to-Low LOT Schools, both NAFIS subgroups.

“Amy has been an important voice for federally impacted school districts and the students they serve for many years,” said Executive Director Hilary Goldmann. “In addition, the relationships she has formed with federal elected officials have been key levers as we have strengthened impact aid and protected it from outside threats. I am pleased that NAFIS is recognizing her with this award, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”

“The district is fortunate to have such an involved Board of Education,” said Dr. David Ostash, SSUSD superintendent. “In this case, Ms. Castillo-Covert’s steadfast leadership and involvement with NAFIS have helped to ensure ongoing impact aid revenue to support core academic programs for all our students.”

“I was first exposed to impact aid in 2003, and I immediately recognized its value to our federally connected students,” said Castillo-Covert. “This program is vitally important to ensure that they are getting the resources and education they need. And if one wants to be part of the solution to challenges, one must be active and have a seat at the table.”

Castillo-Covert began her service on the SSUSD board in 2000. She is a graduate of the California School Boards Association Masters in Governance Program. The district has served her children and grandchildren since 1985.

“The entire NAFIS family joins in thanking Amy Castillo-Covert for her support of, and advocacy for, impact aid,” said a NAFIS spokesperson.

Pictured: Amy Castillo-Covert accepts her award from an official of NAFIS. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-10-04