Yes on levies
As an aunt of three generations of children that have attended and are attending school here in the valley, I am encouraging voters to support the upcoming school levies.
Each vote is a gift to the children of this valley. The gift of an education that gives them the opportunity to choose their future.
I am personally excited that the district is forward thinking and is offering hands on programs such as auto repair, gardening science and carpenter skills. The STEM programs have given students an opportunity to envision the possibilities of an ever-changing world.
Please join me by voting yes as a gift to the future of our children.
Support for schools
When the school district is running a levy, I am flooded with emotions. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Methow Valley was struggling financially, and school levies were repeatedly not approved. The school district endured huge challenges and obstacles, families were stressed, and students suffered the consequences.
Due to lack of funding for programs and services, the school schedule was split into two shifts. The teachers worked long days and families’ schedules were impacted. Before consolidation, we were told that Twisp High School had lost its accreditation, our diplomas would be worthless, and we may be unable to attend college. I don’t recall how long this period lasted but the impact on the students was palpable.
While the challenges I experienced as a student are different now, an educational system that is supported and valued is the foundation of a healthy community.
When you vote, don’t hesitate to check the approve box. The students, teachers and staff are counting on you, don’t let them down.
Like most of us in our amazing community, I wear many hats. I’m writing today as a mom of two high schoolers, and as the Executive Director of TwispWorks to encourage you to vote for the two replacement levies for the Methow Valley School District.
My children, and their peers, have benefited directly from many of the services these levies support: advanced placement, construction, auto, and welding classes, career counseling and internship support. My kids come home inspired from being a part of building something with their hands that benefits the community, and from having incredibly engaging discussions and challenging themselves to learn more in AP classes. They participate in sports and afterschool clubs — also made possible with these levies.
The variety of classes available to our students has a positive impact on our community as our kids are exposed to many options for their future careers, and learn that education can include all kinds of learning.
Here at TwispWorks I’m regularly inspired by the high school students on our campus both from the Independent Learning Center and Liberty Bell. Taking auto and welding classes they are learning to solve problems with their hands and their minds, to work as teams on challenging projects, and what it is like to envision something and then see it built. You may have seen some of their craftsmanship and art that were created in the welding shop around the valley. Their pride in craftsmanship is evident in how they approach these classes.
In addition to the auto and welding classes, many students complete internships with small businesses at TwispWorks. Watching students learn from an accomplished businessperson and apply those skills to their school work and life is incredibly inspiring and satisfying — all made possible by the two existing levies we need to approve for replacement.
Please vote yes on Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 — our entire community benefits.
Making a difference
As a past shop teacher at Liberty Bell High School, current volunteer in the welding shop, resident of the Methow Valley for over 50 years and business owner in the trades, I urge all voters in the Methow Valley to support both school levies that are coming up for a replacement vote on Feb. 13. The state doesn’t cover all the costs and expenses that our school district generates as they prepare our young people for their life in the big world.
I’ve seen firsthand the difference it makes to many students, both girls and boys, who experience classes that teach the basics of trade skills. Many schools in the country chose to eliminate Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses decades ago. Many are now regretting that decision.
Our district thankfully chose a different path. Along with encouraging students to follow a college path after high school, it has also encouraged and supported students to follow a career path in the wide variety of possible professions found in the trades. Those courses are often more costly to establish and maintain, but the Methow Valley School District has stepped up to meet many of those financial challenges.
The two separate upcoming levies, an Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) and a Technology Levy help to fill in the funding gaps for a wide range of programs and operational expenses that the state does not fund. These are both replacement levies, meaning they are not new levies, but replacing existing expiring levies which means you will experience very minimal, if any, increases in your taxes.
Take a deeper dive into the details of these two critical upcoming replacement levies and read both last week’s Methow Valley News’s article and The Pride newsletter that came in your mail box two weeks ago.
Please support our students and vote yes.
Important for children
As a mother, a teacher and a human being, I can’t think of anything more important in the world than our children. In that vein, I urge everyone to vote yes on the two upcoming levies in the Methow Valley School District. These levies are replacement levies so they are not new taxes.
I attended Methow Valley schools my whole life and my two grown-up kids went there so I am a huge fan. I also taught in the elementary school for many years and am so proud of all my friends and colleagues who are still there doing this most important work.
The first levy, Proposition 1, has many very important aspects, including funding for small class sizes. As a teacher, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this. With a small class, a teacher can make sure each kid’s needs are met and everyone has a lot more fun! Discipline and teaching are much easier and effective with a small group and you can follow the group’s lead as you teach and learn together.
Another program Proposition 1 funds (as well as many other things) is community-based internships and apprenticeships. The real-life experiences the older students gain from internships and apprenticeships are invaluable and the effect on the younger kids lasts for a lifetime. I have many strong relationships with the kids who walked down from the high school to help in my classroom.
The second levy, Proposition 2, is very important as well. It gives funding to CTE, which is Career and Technical Education. CTE includes automotive technology, welding, graphic and commercial arts, construction and design, healthcare sciences, business, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality and recreation, and natural resources. I don’t know about you, but I feel like these opportunities are so critical and so cool.
As I said, these levies are just replacing two existing levies and they are super important. Please support our children and vote yes.
Jennifer Mendro Duguay
Would they even come here?
David Ward asked the question again about why we have not been visited by intelligent beings from other worlds. I suspect the answer is that there are few, if any, worlds that have developed life forms that are tool makers driven to expand their presence ever further.
Isaac Azimov obliquely suggested the rapid evolution that produced human beings was due to the unusual earth-moon paring. The center of rotation, if I recall correctly, of the earth-moon combination is about 7 miles below the surface of the earth. This rotating gravitational point helps induce heavy radioactive elements to rise towards to earth’s crust (Dana Visalli may have a better explanation) just enough to promote more mutations than would be caused by radiation originating outside of the earth’s atmosphere.
Life on this planet enjoyed hundreds of millions of years of relatively slow change in climate and stable flora and fauna. It was only because of a rapid series of climate changes that our ancestors had to grow larger brains to survive. As far as geologic time goes, this has been only a very recent occurrence. But for that event, this planet would still be without cities, cell phones, and rocket ships. Life does not require nor drive evolution relentlessly towards sentience. It is only our hubris that assumes that evolution must produce beings like us. Even if sentience does emerge on other worlds, what is the likelihood that those beings would be driven to expand their presence to other planets?
As far as being within some Matrix computer simulation, I’d suggest that we might as well continue behaving as if what we’re experiencing is reality anyway, since the only way to recognize such a truth would be to spot and undeniably confirm any software bugs in the system.
As a Methow Valley community member I am urging my fellow residents to support our schools by voting yes for the Methow Valley School District Proposition 1 and 2 replacement levies.
My son Taylor went through the Methow Valley public school system and graduated 10 years ago. Throughout his schooling I was impressed with the quality of his education, the care of his teachers, and the opportunities for extracurriculars. Our school district has only gotten better since then. I know because, in my years as the Twisp librarian, I interacted with many Methow Valley Elementary, Liberty Bell High School, and Independent Learning Center students, their parents, and their teachers in the library. Our local kids have enriching music and arts choices, awesome after school programming, rigorous AP class choices, more focus on “trades,” and local work internships to name just a few things. I witnessed real growth in these kids as they embraced programs that were stimulating to them.
Please vote yes to replace the levy. Our schools are helping to develop the curious, smart problem solvers we need.
Look for solutions
Glad to see the article on ice rink illumination in the Jan. 24 issue, as someone who has been concerned and at times startled by how bright the rink lights are. The ice rink lights are clearly the brightest lights in Winthrop. The entire basin is lit up by them on a clear night.
Let’s protect our Dark Sky. The rink is great, yet let’s consider how to contain the glare. It would seem too we want to avoid an example of light pollution in the valley.
It seems that the light is largely reflected light, that the fixtures are pointed more or less down.
Thanks to those working towards win-win solutions!