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Why I voted yes on the Federal Way school levy | Letter
I received my voter’s ballot in the mail Saturday and will be dropping it off at the ballot box with a clear “yes” for schools today.
A “yes” for schools usually isn’t a very difficult vote for me. However, this year I found myself initially mixing in factors unrelated to the school levy use in my thinking about the vote.
My substantial disappointment at the poor choices that those in school governance roles have demonstrated over the past 18 months still stains my opinion of their service. That is, I don’t think either the school board or most senior leadership in the district have behaved admirably – not even close.
Then I remembered that a vote for the levy is not a vote of support for them. It’s a vote of support for my community schools and those in the classrooms teaching our students. And, it isn’t even a very subtle difference.
I voted against the incumbent running for school board last fall, and against a retiring school board member’s recommended candidate because of the board’s behavior last year. Those angry anti-votes were well earned by the board. And, those anti-votes only immediately impact the individuals who made the poor choices, not our students or teachers.
The funny thing is, I don’t remember any of the school board members or the superintendent from my own time as a student. They really weren’t particularly meaningful to my learning; they still aren’t. But I’m still angry with our board.
However, I am not at all angry with those who are in the classroom with our students every day, the classroom teachers and school leaders. These are the folks who are most impacted by my vote.
As partners with parents and the community, they inspire, encourage, lead and guide students to growth and knowledge. They do this irrespective of either the board’s extraordinary governance or poor behavior.
I remember numerous classroom educators who helped contribute to frame my life: teachers like Mr. Epp, Ms. Abernathy, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Ziegan, and Mr. Utgaard. And we still have a tremendous number of incredible classroom and school leaders, teachers and principals much like those of my own youth. Individuals like Mr. Howard, Mrs. Storms, Mr. Brower, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Moser, Mrs. Ellis, these are just a few of many who easily come to mind.
These are the people who will be positively impacted by my “yes” vote.
So, my “yes” vote for the levy isn’t for the board; it is a specific vote in support of each of our many quality classroom teachers and for every one of their students.
Jim Storvick, Federal Way