Vote for Chris Reykdal | Letter

I met Chris Reykdal in January 2016, when he and five other candidates running for the Superintendent of Public Instruction spoke to a cohort of WSU grad students. I could see then that Chris, hands down, was the front-runner of all the candidates. In May, I was able to witness Chris captivate a room of over a thousand teachers in Spokane.

I’ve been a special education and Career and Technical Education teacher for 15 years on Orcas and am a Director of Career and Technical Education in Duvall. It is important that our next Superintendent of Public Instruction understands the significance of the happenings in our public schools, how this work can change lives, know the relevance and rigor of CTE, and will fight to increase those types of learning opportunities for kids.

Chris far exceeds expectations of what I want in a state education leader. He is someone who gets what our students, parents and educators face every day – including an over-reliance on standardized testing, overcrowded classrooms, underfunded schools, a shortage of teachers and an increasing dependence on local property tax levies.

Because of his experience as a lawmaker, Chris has established connections in Olympia that will ensure that he can start the job with a much smaller learning curve than his opponent. Chris has been a teacher, a school board member, he understands finance, plus his wife is an educator too.

Providing more project-based, hands-on, CTE courses will raise our graduation rates, which is not only good for our students but also for our economy and society as whole. We need to focus far more energy on making our kids well-rounded people who are ready for the “real world” after school. Chris is the only candidate who has shown a true commitment to returning CTE programs to our schools, he’s committed to eliminating high-stakes standardized testing, he wants to increase pathways to graduation so our students can be successful, and to find incentives in order to recruit more teachers.

I urge you to vote Nov. 8 for Chris Reykdal for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Kari Schuh

Orcas Island