Superintendent's Message, July 5, 2018

  • Dr. Cohn
    Dear friends and neighbors:
    It is with great sadness and a tremendous sense of loss that our school board accepted Director Ted Wenta’s decision to resign from the board effective June 29. In a letter to the board and me, Ted cited his ongoing battle with cancer and wrote, “While I’m deeply disappointed that I will not be able to fulfill my elected term, I believe it’s in the best interest of the district to have a director who can serve in this role to his or her fullest capacity. Our students deserve no less.”

    As in the past, the school board will appoint a citizen of the district to complete the balance of Ted’s term.  Logistics of that process will align with board Policy 1115 and Procedure 1115P and state law (RCW 28A.343.370). Full details of this public process are available on the district website. We began accepting applications today, July 5 and will do so through the end of business on August 24. 

    During Ted’s term on the board, he was a tireless advocate for students, staff, and community through some of the most exciting –and challenging– times I’ve seen in Washington’s public education.

    Ted played a key role in some of our most significant recent achievements and work in progress. A stellar example is our AVID scholarship program with the Rotary Club of Everett. Another is his outspoken support for the district’s 2016 capital bond and technology levy that makes possible the integration of computers across the district curriculum, which is often referred to as our 1:1 strategy because it provides every student a tablet or laptop by 2021.

    Ted was deeply engaged in the process leading up to the board’s decision to put a Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy and a capital bond on the February 2018 ballot. Over two years and more than a dozen meetings and study sessions went into planning what voters were asked to approve. Throughout the deliberative, community process, Ted focused on what students need, on building a fourth comprehensive high school, and on a stable projected tax rate for the community.

    Serving well as a school board member is as challenging as it can be rewarding. With more than 50 meetings a year, and any number of additional appearances at dozens of school- and community-related events, school board members are truly unsung heroes for students. I am grateful to have worked with and for a board member of Ted Wenta’s caliber.

    I am confident Mr. Wenta’s replacement will be equally committed to students, families and staff, to open governance, to our community, and to being thoroughly invested in what it takes to do this work.
    Dr. Gary Cohn