Letters to the Editor

Don’t know each other

To the editor:

Another “negative climate study” at the North Kitsap School District in 2023? It has been 30 years since a Gonzaga study described an “unhealthy administrative culture” at the NKSD. The superintendent’s “management style created an atmosphere of fear…” In 1998 Gonzaga gave NKSD a “passing grade” but concluded that “few hold hope for improvements” and the superintendent resigned in January of 2005. The new superintendent’s management style led to a high school student walkout and a climate study by staff.

In 2008, a third superintendent was hired and resigned in 2011 for lack of “meetings of the minds,” as the board chair described it.

A fourth superintendent, hired in 2012, was accused in climate studies in 2013 and in 2015 of “top-down leadership” spreading “fear of speaking up…disrespecting teachers…and creating a negative work environment.” In 2016, some 280 Poulsbo residents signed a “Support change in NKSD leadership” petition. In 2017 the superintendent resigned.

And now, in 2023, teacher union members voted no confidence in yet another superintendent.

Why are the administrators and teachers so often at loggerheads?

A big source of friction is every superintendent’s top-down rule philosophy and experimental “reforms” without teaching staff input. I still have nightmares remembering when “Mainstreaming” and “Differential Instruction” were the holy grail of education.

Another problem may be that administrators and teachers do not know each other. Maybe Rudyard Kipling was right: Never the twain shall meet.

James U. Behrend

Bainbridge Island

Vote Godfrey

To the editor:

We support Bev Godfrey to serve on the North Kitsap school board. We have known her for many years, during which time she has completed an accomplished career in education in Kitsap County.

She has taught elementary students in Kitsap school districts working closely with fellow teachers and specialists, teacher assistants, principals, office staff, administrators and thousands of parents. She respects the important roles that all these people play in the educational development of our children.

Teamwork, respect and cooperation are important values for her. She is also quite capable of standing up for what is right.

Bev believes strongly that parents and community members need to be heard and responded to, and she will do all she can to strengthen the district’s ability to be responsive.

Bev and her husband Glen have both been active in North Kitsap beyond the classroom. They have served as school and community volunteers and have been active in church, sports and outdoor activities. They have played important roles in the lives of their four grown children and their grandchildren. Her personal experience with foster care, adoption and private tutoring systems in our community make her an excellent resource in and out of classrooms.

Bev’s education experience, energy and desire to listen and strengthen district communication channels will serve her and those in the community she represents well. We encourage you to vote for her.

Larry and Mary Eyer