"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Goodbye but not Forgotten

Today is the last board meeting I will attend as your elected representative on the Alpine School District Board of Education.  To say it has been an honor but a difficult responsibility is an understatement.  I have been strengthened and encouraged by everyone's kindness and support throughout these past eight years.  And I thank you, more than many of you could ever know.

But having said that, this doesn't mean everything comes to an end and we drive away into the sunset.  This next year is every bit as important or more so than the last.  Who is serving in public office is nowhere near as important as what, We, the People do to inform that discussion and remain informed and involved.  I would like to ask those who are willing, can you attend a single board meeting out of 365 days in the next year?  Is that too much to ask?  4-5 hours out of 8,760 hours in 2019?  That's .06% of your time in the next year.  Is freedom, education and the future of our schools and our children worth .06% or .12% in that endeavor?  Let me know if you are willing to continue to be informed and involved citizens.  We have great people and teachers in this community.  Whatever the issues, we can improve them and solve them working together, not appealing to outside experts in DC or some Think Tank that stands to make a lot of money when they proclaim that our "education system" has failed.  A thriving educational system that partners with teachers, parents and the student doesn't make outside experts a lot of money, but it does educate the next generation, consistent with the values of their families and their communities.  This is only done when the individuals in this community step up and stay informed and involved.

There are so many things on the horizon, new health and science standards.  (The health standards are especially problematic, in my opinion.)  Math still being taught by cramming 4 years' worth of high-level math into 3 years (Algebra 1,2, Geometry and Pre-Calculus in 9-11th grades, IF you want to get to Calculus as a Senior).  What literature are our kids reading and obtaining their values from? How much emphasis on GRIT and social-emotional learning do you want in your schools, in a formal way, if any?  Do you want EVERY First Grader to learn to code?  How much technology do you want your kids exposed to in schools?  How will you, as a parent, manage their overall online activity when so much of the homework is now online?  If you have an opinion
, we need your voice.

I am grateful for the trust that you have bestowed on me.  I hope I have been worthy, in some small way, of that trust.  Thank you for your support.  As I have said before, you will never know how much your little notes, text messages, FB posts and treats have buoyed me up and given me the fortitude to go on.

My predecessor finished her final board meeting with these words: "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."  I echo her sentiment and am grateful to have served.

Mt. Vernon, overlooking the Potomac River.