When we use the term “educator” it generally conjures up thoughts of teachers, principals, etc. In truth, the responsibility of educating children is shared by all staff in the district. While our roles may be different, we are all educators. The week of March 14-18 is Classified Employees Week, a time when we celebrate and recognize the important roles our classified employees have in educating our students.
Many of our departments, such as Transportation, Maintenance and Operations, and Food Service, to name a few, are staffed nearly entirely with classified employees. Our Transportation department ensures students get to school on time and safe, regardless of weather condition. Our bus drivers and paras are often the first district employee to welcome students to another day of school. Maintenance & Operations keeps our fields green and safe and maintains classrooms that are well lit and climate controlled. Food Service provides nutritional meals that grow strong bodies and healthy brains. These are just a few examples, but highlight the importance of our classified staff.
What if we didn’t have Food Service? Many students would not eat any healthy meals in a day and some would go hungry. Imagine life without Operational Technology. Our work would come to a grinding halt. Our secretarial staff not only keep our buildings organized and running, they are often our face to the public. They are there to provide a kind word to a troubled child or offer a cot and thermometer to a student who does not feed well. Our paras are extensions of our teaching staff, often working with students dealing with significant challenges.
It is impossible to touch on all of the contributions of our classified staff, but one thing is clear, they are an integral part of educating students in the Wenatchee School District. For that, we say THANK YOU!
From the Wenatchee School District Cabinet: Superintendent Brian Flones, Deputy Superintendent Jon DeJong, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Jodi Smith-Payn, CFO Les Vandervort, Executive Director of Student Services Mark Helm, and HR Director Lisa Turner