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Forging a path forward with Woodland education – Daily Democrat

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It isn’t simple to explain the 12 months 2021.

For practically two years, we’ve got grappled with uncertainty. This 12 months, I’ve had the distinct honor of serving as president of the Woodland Joint Unified School District. After a extended interval of faculty closures all through California and the nation, we cast a path forward to reopen faculties in the course of this pandemic. It was one thing that had by no means been accomplished earlier than. Only eight months later, it looks like a lifetime in the past.

Meanwhile, our board has been tackling a big selection of points.

We ratified two collective bargaining agreements that raised wages and advantages for our workers. We continued progress on the development of Spring Lake Elementary. We authorised a new three-year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), began creating a new Facilities Master Plan to information future infrastructure investments, and developed a spending plan for state and federal COVID reduction funds that prioritized funding for psychological well being providers and early childhood literacy.

We additionally allotted a portion of these COVID reduction funds to interchange Woodland High School’s 50-year previous HVAC system. We revised our highschool commencement necessities to include Ethnic Studies and a new Life Skills curriculum.

I had forgotten many of those milestones till I mirrored on this previous 12 months.

When you’re caught between the ebbs and flows of life, it turns into very simple to focus solely on the factor that’s instantly in entrance of you. Take a second to have a good time your resilience and all the things you have got achieved within the midst of those unprecedented occasions, regardless of how “small” you might suppose these accomplishments are. It is necessary.

Let us additionally take time to have a good time and bear in mind those that we’ve got misplaced.

This previous week, I attended a live performance memorializing a cherished mentor of mine – James Glica-Hernandez. He misplaced his battle with COVID-19 again in January 2021. In September, my father, Curtis Whitaker, additionally handed away after a lifelong battle with drug habit. They each maintain a particular place in my coronary heart. James taught me the facility of humanity, and my father taught me the facility of forgiveness. I miss them each terribly, however I’ll at all times carry their teachings with me.

After all we’ve got been by means of, we should discover a method to heal the divisions that plague us – by embracing love and lightweight, by valuing and caring for each other. If we will do that, I’m assured that higher days are forward.

Happy New Year, Woodland.