Last week, I had the opportunity to do one of the most enjoyable parts of serving of the School Board-
reading to our preschool students at J. F. Wahl Elementary and to those at the North End Head Start
Center. After being in those classrooms, my heart was warmed and the hopes and dreams we all have
for a bright future for our community were reaffirmed.
Those children, ages 3 and 4, showed an excitement and an exuberance for learning that indicated what
we have always known- children want to learn. It is our responsibility as a community and a school
district to make sure that we give them that opportunity by providing them with the learning
environment conducive to maximizing their potential.
As I looked into their anticipating eyes as we read a couple of stories, I was reminded of the awesome
responsibility we have as educators and leaders. All of the work that we do, whether it be policy
changes, budget decisions, or facility improvements, is fundamentally about providing an opportunity
for children to be fully prepared for life as responsible, productive, and caring citizens.
I am proud to serve on a School Board that consistently works with the best interests of children in mind
and has offered leadership locally and statewide on issues important to education. I am proud to live in
a community that sent a message that we are determined to offer a first-class public education to our
community by investing in our public schools. We are moving our district forward, and I am honored to
have been allowed to lead in these efforts.
As I saw once again last week, our students have limitless potential. It just has to be nurtured and
harnessed. We must have first-class schools in order to do this, and we are working hard to make that
happen. We have to have excellent teaching taking place in every classroom. Our students need access
to the finest technology, facilities, and extracurricular activities.
And while I understand that we can’t get everything done overnight because the challenges we face
weren’t created overnight, we must all have a sense of urgency and an unbridled passion for this work.
It can’t be about us. It has to be about the children. They deserve the best from us now. They deserved
it yesterday. Every day we don’t have that is a disservice to them and it undercuts our community’s
I am honored to have been invited into these classrooms. It is important to get close to the work being
done in the classrooms and see up close what is taking place. It’s also important to celebrate and
encourage reading at the youngest ages. Reading is the gateway to the world. Without it, success is
hard to achieve. Our work for our children is critical. Let’s make sure we do our best every day for them
and our community. Until next time, GO COUGARS!