Conversations across the Valley

While going door to door over the last three months across this beautiful valley, I had some great conversations, some really stuck with me.

Kathy was on a ladder cutting back a bush when I walked up her driveway.  She invited me to sit on her front porch and chat about education while her beautiful dog watched over us very carefully.  I had to convince the dog that I came in peace.  Ha.  Kathy asked great questions about preparing students for all kinds of careers.  She was very interested in the work we have done at the high schools to connect students with career pathways, including the trades.   We talked about some of the work we have done to connect employers to help make our classwork more relevant and aligned so that students are prepared for apprenticeships and internships or to walk into a job with a certificate ready to work.

Because Kathy is a retired micro-biologist, she was excited to hear about our new biomedical pathways at the high school.  We also talked about special education and how our district is focused on identifying children’s needs and helping all students reach their potential.  In the end, she said that I sure didn’t shy away from answering any questions or pointing out areas in which we are working to improve.  I could have sat with her all afternoon…

And, then there was Ken.  Ken was working on a car in his driveway and behind us was quite a fabrication shop on his property.  As Ken turned to talk with me, I noticed he had on a well-worn SVSD jacket.  Indeed, he had worked for the district for 16 years, many years back, but now has his own business building boats.  He talked about how it is so difficult to find apprentices who know welding and fabrication and want to learn the business. He shared his own education pathway which included some college, like so many occupations require these days.   He gets why we are preparing students for career AND college.  I invited him on a tour of our new Career Education labs at Mount Si High School so he can see what we are doing and to inspire the next generation.    

Mike lives close to Snoqualmie Elementary.  When I asked if he had kids in the schools he said he had a high school, middle school, and elementary aged child.  All three of which can now walk to school from his beautiful home. It sounds like his kids are having a great year.   Living the life…

Often, I see students as they unload from their buses and walk home.  They are chatting happily, so I always ask “How was school”, and I always hear back “Great” or “Awesome” or thumbs up.  Warms my heart!

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