After watching The Chronicle’s debate between the two candidates for the Chehalis School District Board position, I wanted to show my support for Kelsi Hamilton.
The Chehalis School District has always been a strong and thriving school district. I believe it is a reflection of a strong and thriving community. For the past 14 years, we have made the decision to choice our kids out of another district into Chehalis schools. By the Chehalis School District accepting our paperwork, my kids belonged to the CSD and the CSD became ours. Being a lifelong Chehalis resident and a graduate of W.F. West, I know how strong the CSD is.
My father and mother-in-law graduated from W.F. West (along with their siblings), as did my sister and my son in 2020 during the first shutdown. It was hard to watch all that senior year being taken away from that class.
This year, my daughter will not graduate from W.F. West.
She has made the decision not to.
The ever-changing restrictions, and who she may be changing next to in a locker room along with the way the teachers are forced to police the kids regarding their mask use, made it more than she wanted to deal with.
For the first time in 14 years, I did not have to fill out the paperwork to choice my kids into the Chehalis School District.
I no longer have skin in the game.
After watching the live debate between the two school board candidates, I can't help but wonder if the policies and culture of the CSD might be different if there was a younger school board member who does have skin in the game? Who has the energy to fight for the students and families? Who has a creative way of thinking of different potential outcomes to the mandates handed down to us? Someone who has the energy to listen to the families instead of telling them "there is nothing we can do" or "our hands are tied." I think a little creativity is what's needed these days. A new way of thinking if you will.
There is always something that can be done. Even if it's as simple as a board member saying, "I hear you. Let's write a letter to the Legislature. I will help you."
The existing board member has done some good things on the board.
However, just because someone has been there for 12 years doesn't mean they should automatically get to stay. I believe we need new, vibrant, youthful energy on the board. I believe she is exactly what is needed to invigorate the entire Chehalis School Board.
Sometimes what we need is someone who has skin in the game. They have a lot more to lose.
Please vote for Kelsi Hamilton for the Chehalis School Board.
She is a new breath of fresh air and an innovative thinker and doer.
In these challenging times, we need change.
We need Kelsi Hamilton.