Here are Letters to the Editor for Sept. 7, 2017…
School District’s Desire for Continuous Improvement
Several years ago, an independent study and survey provided the Chewelah School District with a clear look at the district’s building maintenance and overall facilities needs based on programs offered by the district and student enrollment forecasts. This study identified numerous repairs and upgrades needed in each of the district’s buildings.
Failure of bond elections during the years following this study and survey process has led to the need to fund school facility projects on a “one piece at a time” basis. This non-state-matched style of funding is a decidedly more expensive way to provide safe and operable school facilities, but it is the option that remains for our community. As a result, school principals, the district superintendent, maintenance staff, and the school board are constantly prioritizing facility projects against the ability to fund them. The monthly school board meeting is the venue for discussing and finalizing these projects with input from community members as a major piece of the decision-making process.
It was this process that helped determine the first major “one piece at a time” project that was very important to the community – the overhaul of the uneven and inadequate football field surface and the construction of a track at the Snyder Field complex. The community’s support for this project was confirmed as the ballot measure passed. School district administration has also kept its commitment to earmark any remaining contingency funds from this project to repair and upgrade other items at Snyder Field. As a result, the new track and field area will also feature improved bleachers, essential plumbing repairs, increased parking, and more – project enhancements that were not part of the original plan, but were made possible through careful use of levy funds.
This type of successful prioritization, planning, and community participation is going to be crucial again as the school district struggles to balance even more upcoming needs. What facility project should get the community’s attention next? Science rooms? Removal and replacement of portable classrooms? Adequate music and theatre performance space? Modernization of food preparation areas? Replacement of aging and inadequate boiler and HVAC systems? This list is long, varied, and constantly growing.
As an eight-year member of the Chewelah School Board, and a parent of three children in Chewelah’s schools (and one Jenkins High School graduate), my plea to the community is to become more involved in this process. Call your school board representative. Attend school board meetings. Pay close attention to facilities needs when you attend school functions. Contact your school administrator with suggestions. Each of us who work in the school district want what’s best for Chewelah’s students, and what’s best for the community’s pocketbook.
Clint R. Kirry
Chewelah School Board Director, District 2
The Mysterious “Mr. B.”
A while back, I found something and with the help of Chief Burrows, it was returned to the rightful owner.
The owner made arrangements to meet me at a City council meeting to express his graditude; which was quite a surprise to me. He gave me a Thank You card which I didn’t open until a little bit later. It was signed Bob B. Quite frankly, I was a bit over-whelmed by his gesture and wanted to thank him but when I looked around, he was gone.
Since then I have been trying to figure out a way to find out who he is without seeming like some kind of stalker or something, to tell him ‘thank you’.
Recently, I was looking through the Chewelah Independent and there he was !! Yep, he’s running for Mayor !!
So, to “Mr. B.” I’d like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU !!