Great teachers & students – our community is blessed!

We have such dedicated and committed educators in our community! We should all be so grateful for the great efforts being made by teachers and students in our area.

Since last September, I have had the honor to serve as a board member of the Everett Public Schools Foundation. This has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. As a board member, I recently had the opportunity to sit on the committee to judge the applications for Classroom Grants. The Foundation awarded 63 grants – a total of $31,500 – for the 2008-2009 school year! These $500 micro-grants allow teachers to bring new programs into their classrooms — programs that can’t be funded by the normal school budget. The grants will impact 14,000 students in the Everett School District. Isn’t that amazing?

I continue to be impressed and inspired by the teachers who put together such thoughtful and creative programs for students and parents. It definitely gives me a new lookout on life and the future.

I also was invited to be a judge for the Youth of the Year award for the Snohomish County Boys & Girls clubs. A committee of five business people and volunteers from the community interviewed nine finalists (each from one of the Boys & Girls clubs in Snohomish County) on Tuesday. We met with an inspiring group of young people, many of whom have overcome huge obstacles in their family lives! The decision was extremely difficult (they are all winners in my book), but I am happy to say that Sara Higbee, from the Edmonds Boys & Girls Club, was chosen to represent our county in the state competition. The state winner will be announced at a gathering in the Governors mansion in April. The state winner goes on to compete for the regional and national titles. In recent years, Snohomish County has had two National “Youth of the Year” winners. Good luck, Sara, we’re rooting for you!

Witnessing the efforts that people of all ages put forth in our community is a humbling and inspiring experience. I’d like to thank every one of them for giving me this opportunity to hear about their work.