The following letter was received at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and is just one example of teachers making a difference for kids. Thank you so much, Corey, for sharing your son's story with us.
Mr. Cuzzetto and Mrs. Rivera,
As the end of the year approaches I think so much of what should be said, is unfortunately left unsaid. I however do not intend on passing on providing the Peninsula School District some very important feedback. Feedback because I don’t know if you are aware of the superior work being done at Purdy Elementary in the Options Program.
To begin I should introduce myself, my name is Corey and my partner and I have a son graduating this year from the fifth grade options program and moving on to Harbor Ridge Middle School. While some may just see this as a natural progression to us it is just so much more. My partner and I adopted my son Enrique when he was five years old. When we met him he was in Kindergarten and had spent the first five years of his life moving from home to home, he had been saddled with every diagnosis you can attach to a kid and he really had a tough road ahead of him. We didn’t know what was in store for him: his behavior was off the charts, he was impulsive, and he was scared to believe the world could care about him and protect him.
Not long after he moved in we relocated to Washington and landed in Gig Harbor. From the first day, Debbie Griffith the options teacher, took Enrique in and gave him exactly what he needed, a world full of unconditional love, acceptance, structure and above all hope. Debbie never once doubted that behind the chaos there was a strong young man capable of anything and she poured her heart and her soul into his education.
Enrique has flourished over the last five years, and I contribute the majority of that to Debbie Griffith and the Options program she runs every hour of every day, year after year with everything she is. She gives herself wholeheartedly to the students in her program. She never imposes limits set by an unforgiving society and she breathes success and self-development into every child that crosses her path. She is a stellar educator and whoever designed the options program clearly dreamed of someone like her leading the charge because she was made for this work.
I say this because the work that she has done has changed my child’s life forever. My son, who no one thought would ever survive in a “normal” classroom environment, instead has thrived under Teacher Debbie’s direction. He has become a success story for the options program and what the right intervention, mixed with a whole lot of dedication can result in.
Debbie Griffith will forever hold a place in our heart, and especially in my sons, she has helped us give my son a future we didn’t know could be possible and I am forever grateful to the work she is allowed to do in your school district.
Mr. Cuzzetto as the school year ends, I want you to know that there is a teacher out there working everyday to make this world a better place and she is doing that by believing in those kids that need it the most. She is a shining example to our community, the school district and to the world of what the power if an educator really is and I and my family am forever grateful to the Peninsula School District for keeping this diamond accessible to kids like mine. In addition to Debbie, Purdy is filled with amazing teachers and para-educators that have done more than they will ever know. To name a few Jane Hansen, Barry McDougall, Jim Rudsit and Kristy Rivera have all played a pivotal role in Enrique’s success, and as a parent I know without a doubt that Enrique will be a better man because of each and every person who guided him along the right path while at Purdy Elementary.
Thank you for your time, I appreciate being able to pass this along.
Joe Marten’s Tech Club students recently had great success at their first competition at the WA State Technology Student Association (TSA) conference and then at the National competition.
First, the GHHS Tech Club traveled to Bellevue to compete. The Robotics team, consisting of Alec Hatfield, Sarah Ottenbreit, Garret Hill, Ricci Seguban and Kelly Monro placed 8th out of 44 teams in the Skills Challenge. Lars Nelson and Patrick Spieker placed 5th in Debating Technological Issues.
The following students qualified for Nationals in the following events: Ricci Seguban and Kelly Monro placed 3rd in Biotechnology Trevor Anderson, Joey Casebeer and Patrick Spieker placed 2nd in Animatronics Patrick Spieker took 1st place in Extemporaneous Speech.
Then, at Nationals in Washington DC, our students joined 5000 students who competed in 54 different technology related events. Here is a list of students that attended and events they competed in:
The highlight for our group was when Patrick Spieker took 2nd place overall in Extemporaneous Speech.
Three cheers for all these hard working students!
June 6, 2014
Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members:
It is June and the end of the year approaches with excitement. There is a lot happening and we thank you for trusting us with the education of the children in this community again this year. Based on the events I have attended, this group is the best group of students ever. Several updates and information follows. I apologize for the length of this newsletter. We have a lot of great information to share.
After numerous meetings welcoming community feedback, the Peninsula School District is proposing a Capital Bond and Contingent Capital Levy to fund critical capacity, maintenance, facility and technology needs that are not funded by the State for the August 5, 2014 election.
Our community was clear: "We care about Safety and Security." Both the levy and bond have provisions to Upgrade/Enhance Health/Safety/Security ($1M). This includes integrated security systems that are server based with solutions such as:
• Electronic door strikes, request to enter/exit devices and power supplies
• Card readers
• Badge printers and accessories
• Implement across the District, initially elementary schools
• Paid for with either Capital Bond OR Contingent Capital Levy
The bond and levy work in concert. When both pass we will have $60M in bonds and a $2M technology levy, while keeping tax rates under a dollar.
For more detailed information, we invite you to explore the links below.