|Thanks, Travis Mire, for taking the photo.|
I look at these three and think also of a never-ending list of former students who are making a significant difference in this world, thanks to the basic skills, work ethic and pride they developed while attending our local public schools.
Because I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with them yesterday, it seemed appropriate to use Kari, Jim and Jeralyn in this photo----putting faces to the local educational product and meant as a promotional tool for encouraging voters in our district to vote "Yes" in Tuesday's school district levy.
The levy is designed to maintain the status quo for general funding of staff, equipment, programs, maintenance, books, etc.
The great news about two of these former students, pictured above, is that they're using their talents and their dedication for the betterment of our local students.
One serves as a counselor (that would be Jeralyn on the right) and one works endless hours as a devoted volunteer who provides tremendous support to the counseling program at Sandpoint High School and to school district programs and activities in general (that would be Kari on the left).
Jim, in the middle, is my brother, an architect, now living in Oregon, who has designed countless buildings ranging from schools to high-end homes to office complexes----even a tasting room for a winery. He lives in Oregon, but his work can be seen also in several communities around Western Montana.
His drafting class at Sandpoint High School with Ken Beaudoin during the 1980s provided him both inspiration and skills to move on to the University of Idaho College of Architecture. Nowadays, one of his classmates runs that same SHS drafting program.
Jeralyn has tremendous people skills as evidenced by her recent appearance on an Idaho Public TV panel discussing how Idaho students find their direction toward higher education, be it noted liberal arts colleges, the military, technology schools and vocational institutions.
Many of the skills Jeralyn and Kari use today to benefit our local students were developed during their time spent as students in our district. We are so fortunate that they, like so many other of our graduates, return home to provide the same inspiration, motivation and general skills to other generations of local grads.
In short, these people love Sandpoint, and they want the very best for all students who grow up in this community.
Our public schools have historically and consistently strived for excellence in preparing local students to enter and to succeed in the big competitive world outside of Sandpoint.
There's an abundance of proof in the pudding, and, as a former educator who keeps close track of her students and their successes, I can tell you that evidence of that success is nothing short of mind boggling.
We can be proud that Sandpoint grads are able to reach for the stars and achieve big dreams.
Their success evolves, in part, from the support they receive through hundreds of volunteers like Kari, professional guidance from school counselors like Jeralyn and through a cadre of excellent, talented teachers, classroom aides and visionary administrators.
I hope that on Tuesday, March 10 voters will continue to support the efforts of our school staffs and, more importantly, the potential for each of our students through a resounding "yes" vote.
Our students from K-12 and their teachers deserve such an acknowledgement.
Thank you for voting Tuesday and for passing the word.