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Letters | School board's actions speak louder than words
On November 8, three school board positions are up for re-election. The results of that election could change the face and focus of the Snoqualmie Valley School District as we know it.
The last school bond would have helped the district address overcrowding in our upper grades by building a new Snoqualmie Middle School on the Ridge, making way for the current SMS to become a future freshman campus for Mount Si High School. It didn’t pass—we were shy one vote. Of Valley residents, 59.99 percent voted in favor of the bond, and 81.9 percent of Ridge residents voted yes on the bond. Ridge residents even spearheaded collection of funds for a recount in our tightest election to date. Several candidates challenging current school board members did not support the bond. Carolyn Simpson was a prominent speaker against the bond at both school board meetings and in chat groups. Depending on how many were swayed by her words, there alone we could have had a different bond election result.
Additionally, she did not support the redistricting boundaries re-drawn this spring for school board members. She and a few others presented a “citizens’ plan” that would unseat two current board members and create a new seat for which, conveniently, she would be eligible. The district listened—some aspects of the citizen’s plan made sense and were incorporated. Regardless of the district’s show of collaboration, Simpson filed a legal review of the redistricting boundary decision. This review will require manpower, time and money, all of which are incredibly lean resources in our school district. Causing money, time and energy to be funneled away from our students with needless litigation and not supporting a bond your community fought hard to pass does not stack up to community representation—or even more important, student representation.
The school board is meant to represent all of the SVSD. Board members should have the needs and priorities of all the different communities in mind when making critical decisions about curriculum, programs and school facilities. It’s not about one community’s needs, or pushing personal agendas—it’s a position that requires a collaborative and community-minded representative. We have all of that and more with our current school board.
When you ask where they are from, they say “Snoqualmie Valley School District”—not just the quadrant they are districted to represent. They are a well-oiled team, and despite different views or concerns, they come together and have done more with less than ever before. Their approach, relationships and trust with staff and communities are invaluable. In the past few years, the fruits of their labor of love for our students have emerged in many forms: Virtual Academy, the TOSA model, REMS Grant, Student Representatives to the Board, Principal interviews, STEM, Staff Instructional Rounds, Leadership Academy for Principals, etc.
Please do your research, know who you are voting for and what they value. The challengers may be articulate and convincing in their arguments, but their actions speak louder than any of their words. Our children deserve the best—they deserve the current school board. Re-elect Caroline, Craig and Dan!