“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” — President John F. Kennedy
With passage of the levy, the community of Pasco has once again made an investment in our most valuable resource and our shared future: Our children. As we look ahead, there is so much to be excited about and proud of in Pasco.
Pasco School District has a proud legacy of outstanding leadership and vision from the classroom to the boardroom, and everywhere between, which has led to so many of the innovative programs and partnerships that make Pasco a truly special place to learn and work.
This year we celebrate the opening of two new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, elementary schools. With the conversion of Captain Gray to a STEM elementary school, we now have four STEM elementary schools in Pasco. STEM initiatives throughout the district are building and growing in every school. This year we launched 13 sixth-grade robotic clubs across the district, with 130 students participating in the regional tournament, and two teams advancing to state competition. We are also proud to be the site of Delta High School’s permanent home and honored to be in this unique public/private partnership that combines the strengths of three districts, higher education, local businesses and government contractors to provide a unique and remarkable learning experience.
In looking at some of our most exciting and innovative programs the common themes are collaboration and connections. Our business-to-school program, Partners in Educating All Kids! (PEAK!), is a one-of-a-kind model that pairs local businesses with one of our schools. Local business leaders and organizations provide their school with a financial contribution, but more importantly, they make a pledge to get involved and donate their time to at least three school events. For the 10th year in a row we have earned the National Network of Partnership Schools Award from Johns Hopkins University. One component of this is our Action Teams for Partnership that bring parents, teachers and school administrators together to design plans and programs to increase parent partnerships and support school improvement plans. More recently we launched Harvesting Opportunities for Promoting Education (HOPE), which brings members of the faith-based community together to help our students and families in need. Those are just a few examples of the awesome work that is being done in our district.
There are so many people in our communities who are just as dedicated to and passionate about their missions as my colleagues at the Pasco School District. What truly inspires me is when we can intersect our circles of influence and expertise together — like a Venn diagram — and have that intersection point be something that benefits the education and well-being of children. It is at those intersections that powerful, inspiring innovation begins.
Earlier this year, I launched my Community Conversations series and have had the opportunity to meet with community members in small group settings. All of the meetings have been at our Pasco branches of the Mid-Columbia Libraries (another great community partner). The best ideas come from the people we serve. Every time I talk to a stakeholder, I feel more inspired. Energy, creativity and innovation are all fed by that spark of collaboration.
I am truly blessed to work with phenomenal people every day. I am lucky to be a part of a noble profession and serve a caring community. I am excited to see where we can build on our current successes and where we can intersect our circles of influence to create even more opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow: Our students.
We are all so grateful to Pasco voters for investing in the future of our students and, in turn, the community of Pasco. It is a joy and honor to service, and I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.