Dear Friends, Supporters and Families:
I can’t say THANK YOU enough for the encouragement, the walking, the talking, the house parties, attending debates and telling everyone you know how important these education issues are to our kids, our families, our teachers and our communities. Many of you have also given money to this cause, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I know many of us are feeling quite disappointed about this week’s election results and I hope you’ll forgive me for not writing sooner after the fall-out. I’ve wanted to give you, myself, my family and my wonderful campaign manager a few days to reflect and let the dust settle. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the last year and a half as I’ve been on this journey:
- There are thousands of deeply devoted teachers and administrators who care for our kids as if they were their own children. People who put their lives on the line every day, silently but skillfully figuring out ways to creatively work around a school district that does not support their knowledge or experience. YOU are the ones to be applauded each and every day. We’ll keep standing behind you, be there to cheer you on and to comfort you when you are feeling ignored or beaten down.
- There are tens of thousands of kids in our district crying out for help to just get themselves to school and do what is expected of them. Despite our district’s and national corporate reform movement’s attempts to stifle our children’s creativity and love of learning, many kids are still willing to come back to school every day, wanting to learn. Many times it is because they have a connection with an adult at school who takes the time to simply say hello and listen to their troubles and celebrations (like our nurses, librarians, social workers, school counselors, paraprofessionals, facilities managers, lunchroom workers, front office workers, before and after-school care providers, bus drivers, classroom volunteers…..). These are silent heroes in our schools, and they deserve our acknowledgement every time we see them in the halls of our schools. Make sure to thank them each and every time you see them toiling away for your kids.
- There are thousands of parents struggling to keep their households together, overcoming financial, health and emotional hurdles. While doing this, they are giving their all to help their kids stay strong, healthy and excited about learning and staying in school. We need to do whatever we can to help parents be involved and engaged in their kids’ schools. Now more than ever, we need to support programs that make it possible for them to be part of the team that’s going to pull our kids through and help them find and live their dreams.
- While money talks, our power as a coordinated group of advocates for REAL public education has grown, and will keep growing. In the short amount of time we have been working on these important elections, I have seen coalitions built, friendship forged and an incredible amount of knowledge shared. You may not know it now, but so many people who have been in the shadows, are now seeing the light and are ready to enter and keep up the good fight.
Stay tuned, we have plenty of work for you between now and the next school board elections. In the meantime, I hope you will consider joining us for a fun campaign wrap-up party, details to follow.
In closing, I have a few people I want to thank publicly. First and foremost, my incredible husband, David Schachter, who has kept our household together for the last nine months, being a single parent doing a wonderful job raising our kids. He has also taken a lot of shots from our opponent and the media. Believe me, he is one stand-up, ethical guy who I love dearly. Of course I want to also thank Luke and Katie and Aimee, my wonderful kids, for sharing their house with all of you as you stop by to volunteer. My campaign manager, Joe Heitkamp has worked TIRELESSLY, making sure the message gets out, keeping me in line, and showing a tremendous amount of love for this district. He is a hero. Dave Sabados, on loan from DCTA, was a constant source of helpful advice and support. In addition to these folks, I couldn’t have done this without my close friends and campaign advisors, Laura and Robbie Bennett. Finally, my mentor, friend and most wonderful advocate for our kids, teachers and families – Jeannie Kaplan. We will not let you sneak away after 8 long years of fighting for our public schools. While you deserve a good, long break, we are counting on your continued leadership for those of us who will still be actively working in the trenches. You, Arturo and Andrea have done a yeoman’s job, keeping the PUBLIC in our public schools. We will not let Arturo enter the battle alone.
My final request of you supporters at this time is to make sure you go to as many board meetings, work sessions, bond and mill oversight committees as possible. Support your district’s School Improvement and Accountability Committee (SIAC) efforts and remain involved in your individual schools, letting your teachers and school workers know you are there to support them.
In closing, I could not have had a greater group of rabble-rousers to run with than Rosario C. de Baca, Roger Kilgore and Michael Kiley. We all still have outstanding debt, and your help, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. You’ve given so much, but there is still work to do. Just because the election is over, doesn’t mean the work stops. Quite the opposite, now we have more work to do than ever before. Generations of children rely on our perseverance. Thanks for all your support and love. It’s getting me through these rough times. We have learned so much and can still make a huge difference.
Thanks again, stay in the fight, and don’t think this is the last you’ll see of us!