Superintendent's Message, April 24, 2017

  • Dr. Cohn
    Dear friends and neighbors: 

    Did you know that last month the world celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 113th birthday? Our schools and libraries were rockin’ in rhyme in honor of the man, his genius, the Lorax, the green eggs and ham and the places we’ll all go. Every time I hear those memorable quotes from a Dr. Seuss character whose trials and travails enthrall children and adults, I chuckle. Don’t you?

    The man’s genius is evident in lesser known comments about his art. He once said about writing a book in verse, “ … to be successful, it has to sound like you knocked it off on a rainy Friday afternoon. It has to sound easy … ” Good results are seldom “easy” or knocked off on a wet or dry Friday afternoon. In fact, it took Dr. Seuss, nine months to perfect Green Eggs and Ham. While I won’t compare our nine-month school year to his classic book, I would like to acknowledge what we achieve in a single school year (and over the 13 years most students are with us) may seem “easy” to some. I know our work is anything but easy.

    Graduation rate increases, soaring numbers of students in Advanced Placement and College in the High School classes are results that took years of an entire pre-K-12 system to achieve. Those results will take more effort and more people to maintain so our graduates are ready for “the places they will go.”

    Another year of outperforming the state on all SBA tests at every grade resulted from thousands of hours (including hundreds of Learning Improvement Fridays) by teams determined to help our kids shine. We are about to start those SBA tests again this year. I am eternally grateful for the teams who have been working months to ensure the students (and the systems) are ready for yet another smooth testing season this year.

    We know fully educating our communities’ children takes more than schools, and it takes more than 13 years in schools. That’s why the district’s next community symposium is about Early Learning – and that’s why the symposium includes community partners and parents. AND that’s why I hope you’ll consider attending.
    On Saturday, April 29, at Evergreen Middle School, we will spend from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. learning together about how to capitalize upon the fact 90 percent of a child’s brain growth happens BEFORE age five. Every dollar invested in high quality early childhood education SAVES at least $7 on social costs later and INCREASES economic and educational outcomes. More information about the symposium and its speakers is online. If you want to join the conversation, please RSVP at or call  425-385-4024. As Dr. Seuss would say, “Nothing is going to change, unless someone does something soon.”

    And, because I love Dr. Seuss’ wisdom so much, here’s a parting thought: “Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.”

    Dr. Gary Cohn