Vashon’s teachers deserve our support

I have been an active member of the school community on Vashon for nearly 20 years, with a child who graduates Vashon High School this year and one at the Harbor School.

The quality of the teachers my children have enjoyed at the Vashon schools has been phenomenal. In short, we love our teachers! They give so much to our kids, if there is anything we can do to keep them on island and happy — let’s do it people, and support the Vashon schools levy!

At VHS, teachers such as Mike Zecher (humanities) and Jim Dorsey (debate) have inspired life trajectories of many students, including mine. John Rees’ engaging AP English class makes senioritis tolerable, and Harris Levinson’s new Spanish program is captivating in its innovative approach to immersion studies. The early years both my kids spent in the multi-age program at Chautauqua cultivated a lifelong love of language arts and a strong sense of community, led by women I refer to as “teachers of a lifetime” — Glenda Berliner, Geri Wilson and (years ago) Rene and Tina Taylor. If you ever received a placement letter in the mail that your child was in Mary Heath’s fourth-grade class, you know it was akin to a good college acceptance letter! All our teachers more than deserve a salary in step with cost of living increases.

Amid the thrill of the spectacular new VHS building opening, let’s remember what’s inside — wonderful, dedicated staff and teachers — is what makes the world go round.

Lastly, regarding the difficult to trace, dissenting voice of the Freedom Foundation in Olympia: Listen to the recent interview with New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore on NPR Fresh Air (Jan. 15). He reports that GOP campaign strategists are funneling money to state and local elections often concealing the source of the contributors. Just sayin’.

— Jil Stenn


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