PTA Letter to LHE Staff
Dear Staff of LHE,
As we (you) prepare for yet another major transition at school, we’re filled with deep appreciation for the nimble, positive, cohesive way you’ve tackled obstacles the past few years. Those of us who’ve been around a while know that COVID is just the latest in a string of challenges you have faced as a staff.
A few years back the school physically transitioned to the John Marshall building; after only a few months in the new building, your beloved leader, Mr. Floyd, had to retire quite suddenly. He was replaced by an interim principal, who while strong, was temporary. The following year a new principal was assigned, one who would not be a good fit for the school, in the midst of discovering this, you transitioned the building back to Loyal Heights. That move, like all moves, came with its share of complications and difficulties. Sprinkled into this time were the stresses of a couple of SEA strikes and a bus-driver strike. Then came the tragic and untimely passing of Ms. Andrea Wilson, a fantastic teacher, an engaged colleague, and a dear friend to many of you. It was a crushing blow, but even as you were processing the loss, another obstacle came to a head as the staff’s and the community’s relationship with the principal collapsed and became untenable. This ultimately resulted in her removal and the appointment of yet another interim leader. We were all glad when that interim, Mr. Berkenwald, was made the permanent leader, but just as things were finally settling down and calming to a normal stride, COVID hit.
We list all this not to revive past troubles, but to highlight just how many stresses, obstacles, and upheavals you have faced in 4 short years. One could look at this list and easily assume there are deep staff fractures and turnover. After all, when there is unrest in the workplace disputes break out, discontent rises, and folks leave, yet at LHE that has not been the case. There has been very little turnover the past few years; we have witnessed a staff family strengthened in the challenge, not broken by it. We see a staff who support each other, collaborate, sacrifice, and go above and beyond to serve the students. It is a remarkable thing.
We, the past and present PTA presidents, have had front row seats for all of this, and we want to publicly commend you. Through it all you have put the students first. You have acted professionally, you have cared and innovated, you have pivoted and persisted. You are a strong group, and we are so fortunate our kids are your students.
With deep appreciation and admiration,
Katrina Hupp, Stephanie Gardner, Natalie Ward, Sarah Mann