9/7/2017 2:46 PM
By WSSDA Board President Joanne Greer (Excerpted from WSSDA Direct)
What a journey, and the school year has barely begun! I say that looking backward and looking forward. Over my shoulder, I see not one, not two, but three special legislative sessions! In front of me, I see the faces of 1.1 million reasons why that hard work was necessary, as is the continued hard work to clearly determine just how far the state has (or has not) come in fulfilling its paramount duty. As the child grown weary of a summer road trip asks, “are we there yet?”
One destination we’ve clearly reached is the start of school. While every point of the year, including the beginning, may have its challenges, nothing beats that promise of a new beginning.
As I envision our state’s 1.1 million students returning to class, I feel humbled and heartened to think of all the school and district administrators, teachers, facility, transportation, health and food service staff, plus my fellow school directors all sharing one, singular focus: to provide every student access to high-quality education and the supports necessary to make the most of that access.
Despite the trials and tribulations of life, funding and political disagreements, we persist in our focus on bringing benefits to students. This collective energy is awe-inspiring. Whenever I tire of challenges faced in my personal domain, I draw strength from the whole of us.
Looking ahead, WSSDA’s annual Legislative Assembly is imminent. Many of you have attended in the past, but if that’s not you, please join us in setting our legislative priorities for 2018.
On the heels of Legislative Assembly is another annual mainstay of the WSSDA calendar (and yours too I hope): Annual Conference. We’ll be inspired by nationally acclaimed keynote speakers, enriched by over 70 breakout sessions and, best of all, have a chance to connect with each other to commiserate, celebrate or even consternate, as the situation requires.
In all seriousness though, our work is vital, and so is our engagement with WSSDA. As Jessica Vavrus notes in her legislative summary (see page 6 of Direct), “progress was made on some of WSSDA’s top legislative priorities.” That only happens if we stay engaged locally and combine our influence through WSSDA. As I said above, our collective energy is awe-inspiring.
So, I look forward to seeing new and returning faces at our big annual events this fall. Bring a colleague who’s never been; share your pride on social media with one of our “I’m registered” badges; invite your local legislator to register and attend, or better yet, invite them to school to see firsthand your successes and challenges. Though our opinions and favorite solutions are many, our focus is one.