Daily | SKSD has plenty to be proud of, areas of concern

By Jeff Daily, South Kitsap School District Board of Directors — District 5

By Jeff Daily

Jeff Daily is a member of the South Kitsap School District board of directors. He represents District 5 residents on the school board.

Hello South Kitsap community members,

First, I want to again thank each one of you for having the confidence for me to serve as your SKSD Director 5. I want you to know that I have been busy learning about the position’s requirements and the district’s needs. I hope to write to you quarterly to let you know, in my view, how things are going with the district.

As each of you knows, we have a lot to be proud of in our district. We have strong community support with parents and volunteers at our schools who are helping to make things better for all of our students. And long-time residents know that we also have a number of challenges. It is you that I would like to address and enlist your help so that we can move our district forward.

Mr. Winter, our new superintendent, has been a solid addition to our district. He is quite busy with many things, but please remember, he has inherited a number of issues — some new — and many that are very old. He is committed to making the needed changes that will move us toward becoming a Top 5 District with Top 5 schools. We all want things to happen rapidly, but it will take time and commitment as some of the changes needed will be difficult. We won’t satisfy everyone, and it will involve hard choices for our community.

One of our biggest challenges is the facilities we have. All of our schools and buildings are over 25 years old (some much older) and several need to be replaced. In addition, a lot of the plumbing, HVAC and other equipment needed to run the schools are becoming almost impossible to repair and keep running.

Our maintenance people have done a great job trying to keep some items over 40 years old in operating condition, but the time is coming when they will not be able to continue performing miracles. Establishing priorities will not satisfy everyone and it will take a firm community commitment from each of you since it will take many years to improve our facilities.

Other challenges I remain committed to working on are transparency and financial accountability. These are certainly going to be a work in progress. We have to get much better at letting our community members understand our needs and in sharing where we need to go. And, we certainly need to work much harder on telling you how we spend your tax dollars and where we spend them.

We need to make sure we don’t waste tax dollars due to inaccurate estimates or expenditures that don’t benefit our main goal of academic excellence.

I hope to share more with you as the year progresses and as we work to improve and get better. Please contact Mr. Winter, myself or any board member with your questions, concerns or issues with the South Kitsap School District. I can be contacted at jwpdaily@wavecable.com and 360-874-7515.