My wife and I committed to the Westfield Washington Schools and as residents nearly two decades ago when I became the growing school district’s first director of curriculum and instruction. I left the district’s employment before taking my current role as Zionsville’s superintendent in 2006, but with daughters thriving at Westfield High School, we stayed put. Now, our youngest is a WMS seventh-grader and my wife, Mary, is teaching at WIS.
We have seen WWS continue to flourish across the years in program and service strengths, and we now see the dynamic leadership of Dr. Sherry Grate at the helm and sprinting. Refreshing stuff, to be sure, but the challenges of rapid growth coupled with legislative changes forces local ballot questions to preserve great schools and accommodate rapid enrollment growth (WWS has added 1,000 new students since 2012).
This May’s WWS referenda will address overcrowded classrooms because WWS is one of the fastest growing school districts in Indiana. With all main campus buildings (WIS, WMS and WHS) near capacity, only a “YES” vote in this May’s election can forestall multiple portable classrooms that are not effective, long-term solutions. Additionally, with great local schools being among the strongest correlates to important metrics like property values and community safety, we must not risk losing ground in perceptions of quality by erecting villages of less safe and temporary classrooms.
Mary and I have friends in suburban Chicago, Denver and San Diego. When we discuss the quality of schooling for their children, the costs of living, housing and taxes, we have new perspective on the amazing value WWS is for our children’s lives, our property values, community safety and economic development.
WWS is a community common good of the first order, and we must vote “YES” to sustain and expand the school district’s spaces for growth in enrollment and excellence. Early voting started April 2. Election day is May 2, and this referendum question is the only item on the ballot.
Please go vote “YES” for Westfield Washington Schools now or on May 2.
Scott Robison, Westfield