Thursday Thoughts: School Visits, Cricket Launch, Pride Month, and More

It is hard to realize that it is now finally June. The year is flying by and we are soon upon the season of graduation and transition from grade to grade and school to school. These are joyful times and also can be stressful for many. It is important to remind one another that change is in many ways a constant and energizing part of each of our life's journeys. Together we can celebrate all things and make all things possible. “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” — Vincent Van Gogh.  As the school year winds down, I have a number of school visits to report on.  

Kenmore Elementary Visit

On May 17 we had our School Board visit to Kenmore Elementary. These visits are integral to the comprehensive work we do as a district. Principal Geetha George-Shapiro highlighted the ongoing work at the school to advance academics to prepare our students for success and create an inclusive environment. She captured all the above highlights by stating, "With such a caring and talented school community, we are leading a collaborative movement as we continually increase rigor and promote an inclusive and welcoming environment where every single student is valued." Assistant Superintendent for the south region, Heather Miller, shared her enthusiasm about the innovative and inclusive work of Principal George-Shapiro and her staff, “Principal George-Shapiro and Assistant Principal Cano have created systems and structures to create a more inclusive environment throughout the school community.  Evidence of this is the opportunity for all 5th graders and 4th graders to participate in leadership activities serving the Kenmore community.“ It was a great visit!!

Woodmoor Elementary Visit

On Tuesday, I visited the Dolphins community at Woodmoor Elementary. I first set aside time to visit with parents and guardians at my regular meet and greet. In this case, I had several parent/staff members attend. It is always helpful to hear a diverse set of viewpoints on any number of topics so we can make sure we are doing our best work for each and every student. When I sat down with students, the common request was that Woodmoor needs a new playground. I was happy to share that, thanks to our voters, Woodmoor is in line to receive a new playground as part of the 2022 bond. I also found common ground with some students who are the eldest child in their families. Sometimes, that place in the family structure can cause one to play it safe. I encouraged our Woodmoor Dolphins to be bold in their thinking and their compassion for their peers. I always enjoy swimming with the Dolphins for a bit. :)

Canyon Park Middle School Visit

Today, I paid a visit to Canyon Park Middle School to visit with parents and guardians before meeting with students. These are important times for the adults to learn how they can provide support, guidance, and advocacy for their students during the school day when the students are faced with academic, social, and other challenges. I learn a great deal during these conversations. It didn’t go unnoticed that parents shared how simple acts, like greeting students at the curb when they arrive every day, go a long way to building trust and community. I then met with a group of students who shared insights on mental health and their journeys to being comfortable with a real sense of belonging when they show up as their authentic selves. What an amazing group of students and a wonderful start to celebrating Pride Month. Thank you, Canyon Park Knights, for your commitment to creating a better community for each other. 

To date, I’ve been able to visit more than 1,000 classrooms this school year. Anyone who knows me knows that my heart beats strongest when I’m visiting classrooms ;>) 

Cricket Launch

Last night, I had the opportunity to join student-athletes from across the District at our cricket launch! I had a wonderful time batting a few balls and getting pointers from students who are more experienced cricket players than myself. Congratulations to the approximately 150 middle and high school students who have signed up to participate in the Northshore cricket tournament taking place this week and next. I also want to thank the staff and volunteers who have organized the details to make the launch a success. Please drop by to one of the games to learn the game and support young and talented cricketers. Check the website for the tournament schedule. More photos will be posted on that page. I am so excited as we imagine the cricket possibilities… 

Pride Month

The Northshore School District remains committed to creating a safe, caring, and respectful environment for all students, families, and staff. During the month of June, the District celebrates and recognizes Pride to honor the historical and current organizing movements for LGBTQIA2S+ liberation, recognize the global impact that the LGBTQIA2S+ community has had, and advocate for actionable steps to affirm and amplify the voices of our own LGBTQIA2S+ community. Happy Pride and I look forward to the ongoing work ahead to include, affirm, and support our Northshore district community and all genders and sexualities that are represented within it!  

Celebrating Retirees

The celebration season has begun! Today, our 2020, 2021, and 2022 retirees are the center of attention as they were celebrated for their years of dedication to the Northshore educational experience. The pandemic caused a pause in the in-person celebration, but let there be no doubt that each and every retiree from every position in Northshore deserves to be honored for the work over the years to prepare our students for the next level and for life beyond high school, no matter their path. We remain grateful for every year each retiree spent in Northshore.   

Celebrating Graduates

Also, we will celebrate our first 2022 graduates beginning next week with Northshore Networks and Secondary Academy for Success on June 9. What an exciting time of year when we can celebrate our students’ milestones and futures that they’ve yet to imagine! You can watch the live stream by clicking through to this webpage and selecting the school or program of your choice. The links will be live on that specific graduation date.

National Gun Violence Awareness Day

As we head into our first weekend of June and then into summer, I ask that you think about all of the lives that have been lost due to senseless gun violence, especially in just the past few weeks. Please take time to review the “Lock it Up” information on King County’s website. Be sure to secure your firearms. Also, if your student is heading to a friend’s home, it is ok to ask the parents/guardians of your child’s friends if they own firearms and whether they’re locked away. It could save a life. This year, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as #WearOrange Day, is Friday, June 3.

In thinking about the countless contributions of so many that form the fabric of this district, I am reminded of a favorite quote; “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” — Maya Angelou

Warmest regards,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.



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