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Greetings West Linn-Wilsonville school community.

The showers two weeks ago seemed to reflect that spring was having the same difficulty saying goodbye and heading into summer that so many of our children, staff and families had after sharing so many wonderful learning experiences together this year. Rhoades

There was a lot of crying at school this spring ... tears of pride, tears of joy and the many tears of “I will miss you,” that come at the end of a year of great accomplishment caused by people working very hard together.

My congratulations again to our graduating seniors who have given so much of themselves to our schools and communities. Our ceremonies were beautiful celebrations that deservedly honored the presence, persistence and pride in performance these students demonstrated consistently throughout their years in school. We wish them great luck and thank them for bringing their best to share with us at school every day and for giving us such great hope for our futures.

I could not be prouder of all our West Linn-Wilsonville school community has accomplished this year. I want to personally thank each of you for your support of our children and especially for your “growth mindset” as we continue to work together to find creative solutions to the novel challenges our evolving education environment presents for us.

Thank you, board members

Thank you to Dale Hoogestraat and Cheri Zimmerman who are leaving the school board as their terms end June 30. Great leadership is critical to keeping us on mission and we are fortunate to have had the guidance of these outstanding volunteers.

A special thanks goes to Dale who has shared his leadership as a board member for nine years and served as chair or vice chair during seven of those nine years. Thanks again Dale and Cheri for making the time and the sacrifices necessary to serve the children of West Linn-Wilsonville schools so well.

District, state school budgets

I was hoping to be able to share in this message that the governor and legislators had found a way to improve on the resources that had been included in their proposed K-12 state budget, but as of Monday this is still a work in progress.

The good news is that the $6.75 billion state budget figure that the West Linn-Wilsonville school district built its budget on (2013-2014 WLWV Budget Information link: wlwv.k12.or.us/Page/3041) was approved by the Senate on June 26 meaning our 2013-2014 budget, which was approved by our board of directors on June 17, can move forward.

Again we are pleased to be able to offer another year of stability without reductions in programs, staff or days of school. We are pleased to be able to make permanent many of the teaching positions that were temporary this year.

We are happy to be in a position that, should more resources become available, we will be able to begin adding back teaching positions that had been reduced in the past.

We thank our budget committee, our board and all staff and patrons who participated in the budget development process over the course of the year.

Looking ahead

While we ended the year tired, it was the good kind of tired and we can’t help but look forward with great hope and optimism for the coming year. Our children inspired us as the year ended through their sharing and celebrations of their learning with us. They reminded us how much they will miss “where they are” and that they are very ready for their next challenge.

We are inspired by the hard work and commitment of our staff, the reflections on the many years of dedicated service shared by our retirees and the amazing hope, optimism, enthusiasm and spirit of the new teachers coming to our district.

And we are inspired by the support we receive from our families, our volunteers and from a community that places such a high value on children and the quality of their opportunities to learn. Thanks for all you do for our children.

I was thinking hard about how to close this message with some inspiration that would launch you into a wonderful summer break, but thought that the best gift might be to let you get to it. Please accept a short, but truly heartfelt: Thank you, celebrate safely and have a nice summer!

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