Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Engstrom is an easy choice

To the editor:

Jill Engstrom is a woman who is a doer, not a talker, the kind of person needed on the South Whidbey School Board.

Through the years we have seen Jill’s single-minded dedication to our children’s education. She has served countless hours as a parent helper in their classrooms, assisting teachers and advocating for our children.

Some of us thought she was a district employee because she is ALWAYS in the schools. She was THE PTA mom, working the annual book sales benefiting our library. She chaired the Reflections art exhibit showcasing creativity and the visual arts. She spearheaded fundraising for teacher grants to fund special projects and enrich learning. God bless her — she was the brave mom who went on the field trips, the one the teacher asked to accompany the “rambunctious” students.

As her children entered middle and high school, Jill was the one setting up for activities and dances. When we wanted to know what “the plan” was, we would invariably be told, “Ask Jill Engstrom,” who we would find hard at work in the gym hanging the lights or standing on a chair with a staple gun putting together a float or an exhibit backdrop.

She is always the parent on deck organizing students into committees, delegating responsibility while providing gentle but firm guidance. Jill even rides the rowdy Falcon rooter bus to away games as the parent chaperone so that kids who might not otherwise get to go to the games are able to attend. She bakes them cookies and leads them in the Falcon fight song. If you have ever ridden that bus, then you know what a saint she is!

She is a vocal supporter of teachers, and appreciates that they are the ones in the trenches, doing the day-to-day work of opening up the world of learning to our kids. She has worked to get them the support and encouragement they deserve. At the same time, she knows that IT IS ALL ABOUT THE KIDS and feels strongly that district staff and administration should continually strive to improve and be open to constructive criticism and accountability. When something isn’t working, whether in an individual teacher’s classroom or in a district office, then Jill expects changes, not just for the sake of “change,” but so that our children will be better served.

Jill has instilled this spirit of service and leadership in her children, Jackson and Kelsie, who are both leaders among their peers, young people of integrity themselves who, like their mother, are always at the center of whatever is “going on.”

These are the qualities and the perspective she has brought to the school board on which she now serves. Jill has been right at the center of discussions and plans on which the board has been working to see our district through the current crisis. Jill is a quiet worker and never concerned about taking credit.

We want the voters of the district to know the woman we know. No one loves our children more, and no one will work harder for them than Jill Engstrom. We support Jill Engstrom for the District 5 seat on the South Whidbey School Board and ask you to do the same.

Lisa, Dakota And Hayley Hanna; Tom And Tami Fallon; Scott And Ursula Shoudy; Mark Hanna; Greg And Rachelle Bennett; Nancy Parra; Natalie Eckert; Heidi And Tyler “Chuck” Norris; Jim Adsley; And Donna Riley

South Whidbey

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