Shining despite difficult times | GUEST OPINION

Partnerships with our community — now more than ever — help us through tough times.

Marysville Rotary and Soroptimists recently provided more than $60,000 in scholarships for Marysville seniors. The Tulalip Tribes’ $1.26 million grant reduced class size, provided new middle school science materials and much more. Opportunity Expo 2012 brought dozens of partners together to expose 1,000 students to hundreds of college and career options.  We celebrate success together with so many great partners including United Way, Marysville and Tulalip Boys & Girls Clubs, city of Marysville (city, police, library), Rotary, Soroptimists and Kiwanis, Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, PTSAs, GAC,  and many, many more community businesses and parents that support our students and schools.

The National Education Association has provided multiple grants, quality professional development and featured Marysville’s work on the national stage many times. Quil Ceda and Tulalip have been recognized nationally for the way their staff works together to use data to improve student learning.

Marshall, Marysville Cooperative Education Program, and Mountain View outperformed their peers statewide in reading, math and science. Many other schools outperformed in specific areas. Totem was recognized for their success in 8th grade Algebra. Marysville Getchell took another national grand prize for instructional design. Tenth Street Middle School and A&T High School were named two of the state’s “Innovative Schools.”

More teachers received their National Board Certifications including Sherri Ballew, Carol Beyer, Che-Mai Gray, Joseph Klomparens, Stephen Parker, Debbie Vincelette and Theresa Blake. Susan Melton earned a Fulbright Scholarship, Jim Strickland was named PTSA Outstanding Advocate, Anne Carlson, was named School Security Officer of the Year, Randy Davis earned state recognition (M-P track and field), Doug Pellerin (eighth-grade football) and Marlin Fryberg, (Heritage basketball) were honored at the state and local levels by their coaching associations, Heritage High School Principal Shelly Lacy was honored by Women of Color, and Anthony Craig completed his Ph.D.

In addition, students were invited to meet with President Obama (Dallas Duplessis, Tisen Fryberg, Katia Brown and Laura Enick), earned a National Merit Scholar as a junior (Stephani Hren-Graham), led their teams to earn high marks in the Knowledge Bowl, earned a perfect score on the national Latin exam, and excelled in sports, music, and drama competitions as well as robotics, writing, NJROTC, and business. Miranda Cooper (Bio Med) and Theresa Ambat (Totem) were recognized at the state-level for PTSA Reflections, Kais Ben Mariem (ACE) received the presidential award for his community volunteer work and Haley Spooner and Stephanie Neel (MMVHS) will represent Marysville in national competition in Florida and Rafael Achacoso represented M-P at the DECA state competition.

Our Board of Directors was recognized as a Board of Distinction for their student achievement goals. Thanks to a dedicated teaching force and caring support staff, the district continued to make gains in three critical “steps to success” — third-grade reading, eighth-grade Algebra and a 20 percent increase in graduation rates. District and school “report cards” (on the web) highlight other successes.

Marysville has now completed all 2006 bond construction projects — on-time and under budget including Grove Elementary, Marysville Getchell High School, land for future growth, more than promised in technology, and completion of all major repairs. Thanks to good stewardship, a partnership with Lakewood Schools, and $8 million in state funding, we will meet one more critical need with a transportation co-op facility that will reduce operating costs. The district has also qualified for more than $1 million in energy grants and rebates over the last four years.

Hope and Hard Work

All of this is a tribute to the hope and hard work of our students, staff and community partners. Despite $21 million in recent budget cuts, and a Supreme Court ruling that Washington state is not meeting its constitutional responsibility to fund schools, we still find ways to make progress on our mission:  every student — 100 percent — proficient in reading and math, graduating on time and prepared for college and career.

Hope and Hard Work — a positive growth mindset — continues to be our focus. Hope and hard work matter. Hope and hard work make a difference — especially now in these tough times. Now, more than ever, our students need a good education and the understanding that hope and hard work will serve them well in the future.

Thank you, Marysville partners. Thank you, Marysville staff. Thank you, Marysville students. You have demonstrated the importance of hope and hard work by creating success despite difficult financial times.

Dr. Larry Nyland is the Superintendent of the Marysville School District and can be reached at 360-653-0800 or via email at superintendents_office@msvl.k12.wa.us.


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