Re-elect MacLean for his attentive, thoughtful leadership on school board | Letter

Tavish MacLean is an essential member of the school board and should be reelected.

While all board members have aspirations for children,Tavish recognizes we are more than data. We are real people, not numbers. What makes Tavish an outstanding board member is that he ‘gets’ education in an innate way, doesn’t get trapped in looking at measures versus people, and does make sure we, as a district are accountable.

I have taught at Mount Si High School for two decades and been a regular at board meetings for the last six years. Over time I have come to understand and appreciate the board culture, work, and how it has developed.

Meetings are sparsely attended. Yet, topics involving all aspects of the district get discussed and board meetings start to get pretty interesting as you see how decisions are made.

The board sets policy on transportation, building and grounds maintenance and planning, as well as student expectations, and staffing. Getting students through school truly takes a village and that village needs supervision.

Over time the board has gotten better at defining how they make decisions and what criteria they use. Tavish has been part of that change.

Tavish asks questions that go beyond the obvious. He pushes to put ideas and initiatives in perspective. It’s clear he spends a lot of time researching the issues. His comments and votes represent a balanced, considered opinion.

There have been huge gains during his tenure in how the board relates to teachers. This most recent contact was a process of collaboration and not of contention.

There are enormous policy questions in front of the board now. Making sure children are well prepared for dealing with the future calls for people who are careful and purposeful in decision making.

While more and more we deal with data in all areas of education we also need to remember that the data represents real children, with real families who are being looked after by real teachers. This is not to say that high academic achievement is not a goal, but teaching and running schools is both an art and a science.

Tavish has shown he will continue to be thoughtful and careful to create the best educational environment for students, families and teachers in the Valley. Please join me in supporting his reelection.

Ann Heideman

North Bend

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