Superintendent’s thank you to the community
To the entire Tukwila School District community: THANK YOU. Thank you. Thank you. While the official results won’t be certified by King County until Feb. 19, early returns indicate that you have soundly passed our school construction bond and two levies.
To say that I am humbled and grateful is an understatement; these ballot measures were born from this community—formed by a large, representative committee of educators and stakeholders—and they will transform this community—helping every Tukwila child, from birth to graduation and beyond, acquire the education, skills, creativity, and resiliency they need to fill the most in-demand jobs of the 21st Century.Quite simply, you have invested in our collective future.
Another blessing for me through this election cycle has been the opportunity to hear from community members in every corner of the district. I’ve been knocking on doors, making phone calls, and sitting at information booths at many events, and it has been amazing. Whether your family has lived in Tukwila for generations or you are new to this country, the passion and dedication that you have for educating children is universal. I am so proud to call Tukwila home. You have provided me with feedback, suggestions, and priorities that I am going to follow through on.
Again, thank you. In particular, thank you to those of you who cared deeply enough to run and participate in the citizens’ campaign to emphasize the urgency behind the school ballot measures. Leanna Albrecht and Luke Ford co-chaired the effort, and under their leadership many, many others hit the streets—visiting homes, waving signs, spreading the message. I probably personally owe a few of you new walking shoes!
With passage of the bond and levies, now comes the important part: I am committed to using your tax dollars to meet the promised education goals in the most efficient, transparent, and accountable ways possible. I do not take the responsibility of your investment lightly, and neither does my staff. (My technology manager recently told me that, every time he makes a purchase using levy dollars, he imagines the sacrifices and tradeoffs that struggling residents have had to make to fund the levy; then he redoubles his efforts to be accountable, strategic, and smart in stretching those dollars to educate students—that’s the personal responsibility we all feel.) We are going to have an online site where you can track the bond projects, including the plans, renderings, budgets, and timelines. We are going to regularly provide reports about what we are doing with the Technology Levy to enrich student learning and 21st-Century skills. We will continue to inform you about our daily operations, supported by the School Programs and Operations Levy, and how we are in alignment with the Strategic Plan.
Before we get to that stage, however, I invite you to be a part of the planning. Each bond project will have a committee with educators, parents, students, and community members who plan and oversee the work. We need to ensure the finished construction meets the real-world use and needs of students, which is why we are front-loading the process to get everyone’s best thinking. If you are interested in participating or have initial ideas, please contact me ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-901-8006).
To both celebrate and kickoff the work ahead, please join me and Mayor Allan Ekberg for a community-wide reception from 6-7 pm. Friday, Feb. 19, at the Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S. We will be on hand to answer questions and share information—including current renderings and timelines—for the bond projects. We also want to get feedback about your own hopes and vision for the future of the Tukwila School District. We hope to see you there!
All I can say in closing is, once again, thank you. You have put children and community first, and I promise to be the best steward I can with the gift of these levies and bond.
Dr. Nancy Coogan,
Superintendent, Tukwila School District