I’ve always loved autumn. I met my husband in the fall. My birthday’s in the fall. While I don’t share the passion, I know lots of folks who love the season because of pumpkin-spiced everything. And we all honor Thanksgiving as a time to reflect on things for which we’re grateful. Now, I’m reflecting on how thankful I am to the community who granted me a seat on our Yosemite school board. Thank you!
In the autumn of 2005, the voters of Eastern Madera County were asked – in a “yes/no” question — if the Yosemite High School District should unify with its feeder Coarsegold Elementary district. The ballot continued, by asking, “If ‘yes,’ which five individuals should govern the new district?”
From the long list of names that followed, the wise voters took two members of the old high school board, two members of the old elementary board, and me. What a privilege! Simply saying “Thanks!” to those who put their faith in me seems inadequate, but I do so now with my whole heart and mind. Having the opportunity to serve the students and schools in this community which means so much to me has been a high honor.
Along with immense gratitude now, I’m also feeling a sense of hopeful optimism that this same community continues to share with me the keen awareness of how putting kids first remains the veritable North Star for voters and school trustees alike, and how wise our earliest leaders were to insist on keeping school board seats 100% non-partisan. Supporting student achievement is the shared goal of any and each of us who care about our schools and our community, and the concept of partisanship has less than no relevance when it comes to choosing good governance team members.
So it’s so gratifying and confidence-inspiring for me to know I’ll get to vote for Carrie Jenkins who’s standing for the seat I’ve occupied way back since that fall in the early 2000s. Her commitment to serving students and families in Area 5 of the Yosemite district is so evident and inspiring, and I’m proud to have her name on my ballot in November.
I close my letter of thanks with a snippet from a recent daily devotional/inspirational email I get from eminent poet and pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes, since it expresses hopes and dreams I wish for all the staff and students, parents and community members who echo my strong affection for the Yosemite Unified School District:
“For the healing of my hope,
trust where once there was despair.
For the restoration of relationships,
forgiveness where there was brokenness.
For the healing of community,
inclusion where there was division.”