|Students at Evergreen Campus come together for sports, pep rallies, and dances|
Quiz time: What’s our district’s vision? (This is the participatory part of the blog. I’ll pause for your answer…)
|TEC PSAT administration in the library|
|AAA students take the PSAT in the gym|
|HS3 tested in classrooms|
Back to my visit to Evergreen…The Evergreen Campus is comprised of three small high schools:
· Arts and Academics Academy (AAA)
· Health Sciences and Human Services High School (HS3)
· Technology, Engineering, and Communications High School (TEC)
I had a nice visit with principals Norma Barrineau (AAA), Jenni MacDonald (HS3), and Kelly Raymond (TEC). They spoke with me about the joys and challenges of running their schools. I appreciate how they work together so well, in addition to shaping the school they individually lead.
|(Left to Right) Principals Jenni MacDonald, Norma Barrineau, and Kelly Raymond|
One thing I wish I could do for the principals – and everyone who calls Evergreen home – is deliver them a new school. The Evergreen facility is showing its age. Despite a good effort by our facilities team, the flat roofs leak and the breezeways are deteriorating. The facilities limit our ability to expand lab science classes and even if we got a large donation of computers, we wouldn’t be able to plug them in and put them to use on the antiquated electrical system. The campus is well cared for, but when you’re educating a thousand or so teens a year – and trying to educate them for their future – there is a limit to the usable life of a school. To their credit, the principals know it’s the people who make a school, not the bricks and mortar, and they focus without excuse on what they can do for kids.
Between PSAT testing and visiting with the principals, I didn’t have much time to see other staff. But I did enjoy brief interactions with Mary Jo Leonardson, who taught French when I was assistant principal at Tyee High School in the 1990s and Barb Rodgers, who is a one of our resilient, dedicated office managers.
Best of all, just before I left, Principal MacDonald asked me to visit the integrated learning center (ILC) at HS3. These learners were working with money and will eventually put their life skills to work in the student store. But the very best part was this: I saw a former student from when I was principal at Beverly Park. I recognized “J” immediately. She was a first or second grader when I last knew her. Now, she’s eighteen and I hope the world will treat her – and her ILC classmates – kindly. I know their dedicated instructors do.