Let your voice be heard

Guest Columnist

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 2:52am
  • Opinion

Our school district has been working hard to become one of the best in the state, and it’s well on its way. There’s a new leader in town and the results could be stunning.

Our new superintendent, Joel Aune, is a hands-on leader who has made it clear his door is open wide and he wants our input. He wants to hear our concerns and ideas on how to meet the challenges facing the school district. The formation of the Facilities Task Force is an example of the new game in town.

The idea was to put together a group of people from the community who would bring fresh and intelligent ideas and discussion in order to meet the unprecedented growth the district is facing. Last year, our school population increased more than 7 percent and in listening to the city and county planners, this may very well be the trend for some time.

There is a sense of urgency among the task force members as more and more information comes out in terms of what the growth in the district could be in the near future. You should also feel the sense of urgency. While it may be easy to say, “If so and so is on the committee, they will represent me,” it is not enough. We need tremendous public involvement during this process. It is critical the public understands the seriousness of the problem of growth and that the solutions are created and supported by the community. Our decisions will affect the direction and quality of our schools, community and, most importantly, the education and lives of our children for years to come.

We live in one of the best communities around. This community is not just our neighborhoods, schools, parks and local government, it is the people and their willingness to give their time and their expertise. When the need is there, it’s their money, too. We see it over and over. When someone is in need, the outpouring of support and kindness of our community is always incredible.

Our district is growing by leaps and bounds. While we all realize growing pains and change can be painful, they are a reality in our school district, now more than ever. We all need to come together – from all ends of our school district – to make the hard decisions like: Where do we go from here? Don’t let someone else speak for you. We want to hear your voice regarding these matters. Please remember this is for you, your children, your grandchildren, your friends, your neighbors, your community and most of all, the future of the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

The level of talent and commitment of the task force is top rate, and we are working hard under the leadership of assistant superintendent Don McConkey. We have Mount Si freshman Alex Bolves on our task force, and he is a tremendous asset to our committee. He brings a great perspective to the task force and asks the best questions. It would be wonderful to have more students at our public meetings to get their ideas and to give us a window into the experiences of kids in our schools today. Our kids are incredibly insightful and full of ideas, and it is important they are also involved in the process. Thank you for your attention and we are looking forward to seeing you at the next public meeting.

For more details, please visit SFTF Web site at www.snoqualmie.k12.wa.us and click on “Facilities Task Force Information.”

Caroline Loudenback, Lee Kirschner and Lyn Seydell.

This is the second in a bimonthly series of guest columns written by members of the Snoqualmie Valley School District Facilities Task Force. These columns are part of a comprehensive communication effort to inform and engage the community throughout the course of our work. The charge of the task force is to submit a list of prioritized recommendations to the Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors for new construction projects, modernization projects and maintenance and repair of existing school district facilities.

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