Juneteenth will be celebrated on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. The Wenatchee School District stands firmly with our community members and others throughout the county and the world against racism in all forms. However, as a school district, we have our own work to do to ensure our students, staff, parents, and community members are safe, welcomed, and educated exceptional well in our schools.
As I think about the direction of our school district, the National Equity Project’s definition of educational, or instructional, equity provides clarity to the work we need to do: reducing the predictability of who succeeds and who fails, interrupting reproductive practices that negatively impact students, and cultivating the gifts and talents of every student. From my perspective, these are aspects of public education Wenatchee School District must embrace. The definition is a harsh reality for school districts, as we have known for decades that students who come from poverty have predictably failed.
Juneteenth is an opportunity to recognize the freedom of black men and women in our county and the atrocities that were committed against them. It also gives us all a chance to commit ourselves to truly living and breathing the words in The Declaration of Independence that state, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unfortunately, there is still much to be done -- we cannot be deterred by the challenge. We must ensure that no student is condemned to failure based on their income, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. You have my commitment as the Superintendent of the Wenatchee School District that we will do better for ALL students.