The end of the school year generally brings about some significant transformations, and for many, tears of joy. They mark a place in our lives that will be treasured memories. For so many of us, these are monumental.
High school graduations
Beloved educators and teachers retiring
Changes in principals
Our child’s last day as an elementary student, or a move onto high school
One significant change this year is the retirement of beloved Columbine teacher, Paula Reed. Paula is a long-time member of the Columbine H.S. community. She was there in 1999, and has been a leader in the school community, in the teaching community (Jefferson County Educators Association), and highly regarded by the district leadership, and Jeffco parents and community members. In her years as a Jeffco teacher, she’s witnessed some of Jeffco’s lowest moments – the Columbine shooting in 1999, the two years of Witt, Newkirk and Williams, and the 2015 Recall. But she’s also seen the Jeffco community pull together to support the Columbine community, and she’s seen Jeffco parents, teachers, and community leaders step up and stand up for students in 2014/15. Her experience, wisdom, and leadership will be missed at Columbine and JCEA, for certain. We know she’s moving onto bigger and better things, but will continue to advocate for public education and Jeffco schools. That’s just who she is.
Many of you who are taking the time to read this will be witnessing your own child’s move onto the next phase of their young life. They may be moving into a new school next year – either middle or high school. Or perhaps you will be sending them off to college. They are all important moments, memorable, and sometimes bittersweet. Saying goodbye to what has been a safe and friendly family environment as you face changes and new challenges. A little exciting. A little scary.
One thing we can all agree on, is the importance of making sure our children (all of them) get a quality education. As a community, we in Jeffco have always valued our public schools, be they traditional neighborhood schools or charters. We’ve worked hard over the years to make sure our public schools in Jeffco are something we can take pride in – even through the roughest of years when we felt things had taken a turn for the worse, we didn’t stop working to change them for the better.
We have a chance to continue to do just that – this year. We actually have an opportunity to see our schools funded at a level we wouldn’t normally see without passing 3 or 4 mill levy overrides at one time. We can work for Great Schools Thriving Communities (aka Initiative #93) and provide our students with an opportunity unlike ever before since the Great Recession. You’ve seen our posts and articles. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/statewide-education-funding-petitions/
As parents, teachers and educators, and community members, we can do something now – today, this week, this month – that will give all our children the kind of future we only dreamed of. Those of us who have lost many months of our lives working for district mill/bond campaigns (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) only to be asked to do it again, and again, have an opportunity to make a difference this year to end that cycle of temporary funding fixes.
We can do this – together, as a community – just like we’ve pulled together in the past to make history and change things for the better – for our kids.
Contact us if you still need to sign a petition, or if you want to carry one. Donate and volunteer. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/statewide-education-funding-petitions/
They say, if you want to know what a community values, look at how its children are treated. If you want a sense of what a community hopes for the future, look at how it values its schools.