Letter: Strong schools are essential, need support


The first big summer holiday is past, the school year is nearly over. It is time to celebrate. As part of that celebration, let us honor all educators.

The past couple of months I had the privilege of volunteering at South Whidbey Elementary School. I was reminded again of dedication, hard work and the beauty of young energy.

A bow of appreciation to fourth grade teachers Lindsey DeMots, Nels Berquist and Betsy Hofius. These thoughtful and dedicated teachers shine in their own classrooms and also organized an overnight field trip to Fort Casey. It was my delight to be one of the volunteers helping with teaching in their eight-station rotation schedule.

First and second grade teacher Caris Ristoff and Alternative Learning Experience coordinator Andi Kopit guide their young students in creative opportunities to work together in their indoor/outdoor classroom. I got to help them with a visit to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust native prairie nursery and Admiralty Inlet Preserve. The exuberance and awe of these teachers and their young charges is contagious.

All these teachers are working under the guidance of South Whidbey Elementary Principal Susie Richards, who embodies the finest leadership any school could ask for.

There are many other excellent teachers in our school systems and I hope parents, grandparents, and community members will take time to appreciate and acknowledge them as we head into the summer. They are doing the essential job of educating our future citizens.

A strong public school system is the foundational support young families need to live and thrive in our community. It was disheartening to me that the Oak Harbor and South Whidbey school bonds failed to pass this year. I urge the voting population to pay attention and pass future school bond levies whether you have school age children in your lives or not.

Ann Linnea