Letters to the Editor

Castellar's goals don't enhance education

I was one of the first parents to question how Evelyn Castellar could serve as a Federal Way School Board member when she misses so many board meetings. My feeling that she could not represent her constituents has only been compounded after seeing how her absences have affected the board for the past year.

Her absence in January prevented a quick decision on the construction of the new middle school. She came back from her hiatus not having read all of the information brought out at the board meetings she had missed, and expected the decision to wait until she was caught up. Her excuse at that time was that the e-mail in Honduras was unreliable.

Her June absence resulted in a delay in the budget work-study until her return in late July. This delay was made specifically to accommodate her absence. It resulted in the loss of time for the community to respond to the loss of junior varsity soccer and fifth-grade camp.

Even more troubling than her lack of attendance is the policies she brings forward for the board to consider. The first policy that she brought forward was what she called a “decency policy.” Had her policy been adopted, then more than a quarter of the novels our students currently read in their English classes would have been removed from the approved reading list.

The second policy Castellar brought forward for board consideration is the policy she calls “fair rotation of officers.” Castellar claims that she brought this policy forward in an attempt to promote harmony within the board. The discussion resulted in board members calling each other names and showing animosity and resentment toward each other and the community. The discussion at the Sept. 14 board meeting seemed to indicate that her true motivation was to make board member Charles Hoff the next sboard president. (Please note that Hoff is the member who refused to attend high school graduation because he didn’t feel the graduates deserved a diploma, and he is also the member who has never said a positive word about our school district, its students and teachers or the efforts that it has taken for our students to make such remarkable progress on the WASL.) Ms. Castellar would then get the board president position in the 2005-06 school year.

The job of the board is to promote the welfare and education of the children of this community. This fair rotation of officers policy does nothing to enhance or improve our students’ education or well-being, so it should be rejected.

If Hoff and Castellar wish to become president of the School Board, then they should be elected, just like all prior presidents have been.

As far as Castellar’s absences, she needs to decide if her priority is the children of this community or that of the community she serves in Honduras.

Shari Cotes

Kent

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