Tag Archives: North Kitsap School District

NKSD board reaches out with monthly newsletter

True to its word to try connecting better with constituents, the North Kitsap School District Board of Directors has launched a monthly newsletter with information about the board and a recap of major action taken and issues discussed.

The board took heat last school year for being out of touch with staff and community members after the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Patty Page. The board, in its annual evaluation of Page, gave her high marks in most areas, but noted the need to improve relations with stakeholders.

The board also pledged to be more responsive to staff and community concerns, and more transparent in how it conducts business on behalf of the district.

“The newsletter is one deliberate action of the board’s on-going effort to improve board communications and community engagement,” said President Beth Worthington. “We initiated a standing agenda item on this topic last May and have been discussing it and implementing actions as we go.”

Other actions have been to re-start a Community Partnership Committee, to change the format of the public hearing on the budget to be an interactive question-and-answer session, and to publicly answer questions to the board that are received at meetings, although the answers sometimes come at the following meeting if research on the question is required. Formerly, the board’s policy was not to respond to questions during the meeting.

The newsletter is published on issue.com, a platform designed for magazines and newsletters. It’s worth signing up for an account if you’re like most people: too busy to sit through a school board meeting or just wanting a summary of the highlights.

The September issue covers the Sept. 8 meeting’s discussion of board goals, the process of hiring a firm to guide the district through the search for a new superintendent, as Patty Page will retire after this year, and the board’s legislative priorities. On Sept. 22, the board approved a contract with transportation workers.

The newsletter gives contact information for all board members and a link to agendas and minutes of past meetings. Agendas include links to documents for many items.

If you want to really stay up to speed on the board, you can read the agendas online in advance and see what issues, if any, require your closer attention. That’s what I do for North Kitsap, and all other local school districts.

The next school board meeting is Thursday (Oct. 13). The start time is listed as 5 p.m. Regular board meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the Board Room of the District Office (18360 Caldart Ave. NE, Poulsbo). Typically, the board uses the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. slot for study sessions. On Thursday, they will discuss school improvement plans.

NKSD Superintendent evaluations, contracts and goals

Related to our story on the North Kitsap school board’s recent evaluation of Superintendent Patty Page, I’m sharing below documents I received from the district as a result of public records requests.

Page in May received a vote of no confidence from the teacher’s union. The board on July 14 gave her a largely favorable evaluation for her performance in the 2015-2016 school year (and a raise), as we reported, but in her goals for the upcoming school year (the last for Page, who retires in June 2017) the board expects Page to foster better relations with the union and the community.

As you can see from past evaluations, completed in 2013-2015, the board has held Page in high regard throughout her tenure. “You are a great leader. Keep it up. Your energy makes a big difference in running the school district,” the board’s summary evaluation for 2015 states.

The 2015 report makes note of a “concern of one board member that information presented to the board is not balanced.” And a midyear report in 2015 notes room for improvement “in community engagement and collaboration.” Otherwise the board has glowing praise for Page.

The evaluation’s quantitative scale scale ranges from 1 to 4, as follows: Distinguished (4.0), proficient (3.0), basic (2.0) and unsatisfactory (1.0). Most scores awarded by the board in 2015 for Page’s performance on evaluation criteria are in the mid- to high-3 range.

The 2014 evaluation lauds Page for navigating the district through a budget crisis, school closure and negotiation of several open contracts. “Patty was tough but fair and kept us in the know throughout the bargaining process,” the board stated in its June 2014 evaluation. Other comments: “Finances are better than in a decade; district better each year she is here.”

The board’s evaluations stand in sharp contrast to reports from the teachers’ union that members disapproved of her leadership as early as 2013, about a year after she joined the district.

The 2014 evaluation shows the board was well aware of the teachers’ discontent. “Patty has taken a lot of heat from the teachers’ union and the public, mostly based on board decisions. This created a lot of negative press, and (she) never once tried to blame the board.”

One “area for improvement” noted in 2014, “Need to increase delegation and take care of self by not putting in so many hours.”

That year, the board scored Page lowest in the area of “family and community engagement,” a score of 2.6 out of 4, where her overall score for 2014 was 3.275.

Related to the evaluation process, the board established goals for Page for the 2014-2015 school year, also for the 2015-2016 school year, and they have proposed goals for the 2016-2017 school year (to be approved Aug. 18).

In Page’s past contracts from the 2012-2013 school year (her first with the district) through the 2015-2016 school year, you can see her salary was $140,000 for her first two years, $146,000 in 2014 and initially $148,920 in 2015.

Page’s contract for the 2015-2016 school year was revised in August 2015 to reflect a 3 percent raise the board gave her, since the state gave a 3 percent raise to all certificated public school staff. Her salary then was $153,388.

In her contract for the upcoming school year, the board gave Page a 1 percent raise over her 2015-2016 salary of $153,388, plus a 1.8 percent raise which all public school certificated staff received from the state, for a salary of $157,711, plus benefits.

Stacie Schmechel and Suzi Crosby, two NK parents who diligently watch the school board’s actions, were at the July 14 meeting. Schmechel and Crosby have complained about the superintendent’s evaluation process and did so again at the meeting.

Crosby said the board needs to be more detailed and explicit in explaining their evaluation of the superintendent, and she said, they need to connect the dots between goals set at the beginning of the year and the superintendent’s performance on those goals.

Schmechel, during public comment at the meeting, stood silent at the microphone demonstrating what she said is a lack of response by the district to public records requests she has made regarding Page’s evaluations, including the board’s deliberations in executive session. Schmechel disputes that deliberations on the superintendent’s performance should take place behind closed doors.

The state’s open public meetings act exempts from open session meetings “to review the performance of a public employee.” Although final action — hiring, firing, renewal of contract, non-renewal — must take place in public.

The state’s open public records act generally exempts evaluations of a public employee from disclosure. But not in the case of the director or lead employee of a public agency.

“This is an exception to the normal rule that public employee evaluation information affects employee personal privacy rights and is exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.56. 230(3),” said Korrine Henry, North Kitsap’s public records officer. “The rationale for this exception is found in an appellate court decision involving a city manager. Like a city manager, a school superintendent manages the district and is evaluated directly by an elected school board, the same as the elected officials of a city evaluate a city manager, thus the public has a legitimate interest in knowing the results of the evaluation.”

The district doesn’t automatically make the superintendent’s final evaluations public, but will disclose them on request. Some districts make superintendent contracts easy to find on their websites. Why not final written evaluations?

Let me know if you have any trouble with the links or if you would like emailed copies of the documents. Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun education reporter

Footnote: Board President Beth Worthington said Friday she was in error at the July 14 meeting in saying the board had set goals for the three previous years (only two). Going forward, she said the superintendent’s performance on the past year’s goals will be documented as part of the year end evaluation (as on the evaluation approved last night).

NKSD superintendent evaluation, what’s next?

There’s been plenty of news lately about Kitsap County school superintendents.

Last week South Kitsap School District Superintendent Michelle Reid announced she will be moving to the much larger Northshore School District in Bothell. And Faith Chapel, superintendent in Bainbridge Island School District for the past eight years, was lauded last Friday on her retirement.

In North Kitsap School District, Superintendent Patty Page has faced mounting criticism from the teachers’ union and community. A vote of no confidence by the union on May 26 was supported by members of the custodial and food service employees’ union. And on June 9, the school board received a petition from community members with 419 signatures asking the board for a leadership change, as union leaders also have suggested.

The petition reiterated the union’s complaints about a climate of intimidation under Page’s “top-down leadership” style.

Given all that, there is heightened interest this year in the superintendent’s annual evaluation process.

The board met last week in executive session (a meeting closed to the public) that was on a Wednesday (not the board’s usual Thursday meeting). Board president Beth Worthington confirmed that the special session held June 15 was related to Page’s annual evaluation and that the board had met in executive session June 9 for the same reason.

Districts all have slightly different methods for evaluating the superintendent. As in North Kitsap, discussion of a superintendent’s performance and goals for the upcoming year typically takes place in executive session.

In Bremerton, for example, both the mid-year and year-end superintendent evaluation are done in executive session, BSD spokeswoman Patty Glaser said. The superintendent’s progress toward his own goals are reviewed in executive session. The district’s goals, which may overlap with with the superintendent’s goals to some extent are presented and voted on in open session, before the public, Glaser said.

Worthington explained, “It has not been the practice of NKSD to discuss the content of the superintendent evaluation in public. The board works hard to have a relationship of trust, honesty and support with the superintendent and will work hard to have the same with future superintendents. Not discussing the evaluation of the superintendent performance in public allows for meaningful and productive communication for improvement for the benefit of NKSD.”

The superintendent’s final evaluation is, however, a public record. The state’s open public records act generally exempts evaluation of a public employee from disclosure. But not in the case of the director or lead employee of a public agency.

Korinne Henry (no relation to me), North Kitsap School District’s public records officer, explains, “This is an exception to the normal rule that public employee evaluation information affects employee personal privacy rights and is exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.56. 230(3). The rationale for this exception is found in an appellate court decision involving a city manager. Like a city manager, a school superintendent manages the district and is evaluated directly by an elected school board, the same as the elected officials of a city evaluate a city manager, thus the public has a legitimate interest in knowing the results of the evaluation.”

In North Kitsap, the superintendent’s evaluation is a summary incorporating all board members’ input and consensus of the board on the superintendent’s performance in meeting goals and on a number of evaluation criteria, such as leadership, community engagement and collaboration, and improvement of student education and services. The superintendent’s contract, including salary, also is a public document.

Any action taken by a school board in executive session, such as voting to renew (or not renew) the superintendent’s contract, must be made in open session before the public.

Under NKSD policy and procedure, the superintendent’s evaluation is to be completed by July 1, but the board can extend or modify the contract before July 1. That will be the case this year, Worthington said. “Due to the complexity of current issues and scheduling constraints of individual board members, I believe we need more time.”

At Thursday’s board meeting (June 23), the board will consider a resolution to extend the July 1 date to the July 14 regular meeting, Worthington said.

The board at the July 14 meeting also will discuss Page’s goals for the 2016-2017 school year. “That has been our practice for the last several years,” Worthington said.

Page has said she is retiring at the end of the upcoming school year after a lengthy career in education

As leader of the district, Page’s annual goals are inevitably intertwined with North Kitsap’s Strategic Plan goals. There are three main goals in the plan, one of which is “stakeholder satisfaction and support.”

“The superintendent’s goals may relate to her individual performance in assisting the district to attain the Strategic Plan and goals,” Worthington said.

Worthington and Page in a May 25 letter to the public (the day before the no confidence vote) acknowledged they had not publicly addressed climate surveys by the teachers’ union in 2013 and 2015 that reflected negatively on Page’s leadership. In the letter, Worthington and Page pledged a commitment to improving relations with staff and the community. Public and staff comments at the June 9 board meeting indicate a growing impatience to see signs this effort is under way.

Chris Fraser, teachers’ union president, said frustration among her members is growing due to lack of movement. “The school board should strongly consider buying out the contract for our current superintendent and selecting an interim superintendent with input from stakeholder groups,” Fraser wrote in a June 9 press release.

The board meanwhile has made discussion of communication and public trust a regular item on its agenda.

Fraser has called for the board to meet with employees and has criticized Worthington for discouraging such meetings. Worthington said it’s not the board’s role to “address complaints directly with citizens, employees and employee organizations.” That’s up to administrators and supervisory staff, she said.

Worthington said that board members are indeed willing to meet with staff and receive their written complaints, comments and concerns. What the board shouldn’t do, she said, is meet in any context that would smack of taking administrative action or constitute negotiation of contract terms. Doing so could compromise the relationship between the district administration and the union, Worthington said.

However, Worthington said she supports suggestions from board members Jim Almond and Glen Robbins, who said they’d like to go out to schools on a listening tour.

“While we can’t really be the workhorse in resolving complaints, we find it valuable to know what people’s experiences are,” Worthington said.

It’s a subtle difference. How did it get lost in translation?

“We probably are not as competent and well versed in public relations as we should be,” she said.

NK School Board to pick new board member on election night

The North Kitsap School Board is scheduled to meet Monday evening in executive session to review the applications for the vacant position on the board.

The board is expected to make its selection Tuesday evening, election night.

The District 2 opening happened when Dan Weedin resigned from the board in early October.

NKSD seeks school board member

The North Kitsap School District seeks someone to replace Dan Weedin on the school board. Weedin resigned last week. Here is the announcement.

The North Kitsap School District Board of Directors is seeking qualified applicants and nominations for qualified applicants for a recent vacancy in the Director District 2 position.  Interested registered voters residing in Director District 2 should submit an application and biographical summary to the following address by 12:00 p.m. Monday, November 3, 2014:  Board of Directors, 18360 Caldart Avenue NE, Poulsbo WA  98370.  Materials may also be emailed to khenry@nkschools.org.

 Application, District 2 boundaries, and timeline may be found on our website at www.nkschools.org, or Click HERE.

For additional questions, please contact Korinne Henry at (360) 396-3001 or khenry@nkschools.org.

We encourage you to share this information with anyone who resides in District 2 and who may be interested in serving on the Board of Directors. 

NK’s Page eyes end, but has not set a date

Patty Page, North Kitsap School District superintendent, said on Thursday she will not seek an extension on her contract with the district. That does not mean she is retiring anytime soon.

Page, who started with the district in 2012, signed a three-year contract with the board when she started and has seen one-year extensions each year since. This year she said she doesn’t want one.

Instead, from this point on, as she approaches retirement age she will work with two-year contracts, or go year-to year.

The conversation arose as the board continued conversations about how it will carry out its superintendent evaluation process going forward.

Our conversation about a word that starts with ‘N’

If I call my wife “Babe” I get no criticism.
If my wife’s former boyfriend, (Let’s name one: Monty) calls her “Babe,” well I kind of have a problem with it.

Our stories last week about the Poulsbo Elementary School principal placed on paid leave for using the “N” word, version one and version two, sparked quite the outcry about our PC culture, ways of educating, equivalent words and whether it’s fair that black people can use that word and no one else can.

There are a handful of things about this particular incident that are worth pulling out in ways that are easier here than they are in a news story. And to be clear, I won’t use the word in this piece or any of the stories. I see the point that when I write “the N-word” I’m making you think it. I get that. Louis C.K. does a comedy bit about that and the reason comedy is often so effective is because of how much truth there is to it. But, at the risk of taking a comedian literally, there are parts of his argument I do not agree with. And I feel better not saying it, just letting you think it. Or, if you don’t know what it is, causing you to go ask someone. I’m OK with that.

So, back to the point.

1. No one has said anything negative to me about Claudia Alves, the principal who is on paid leave. No one, that I know of, ever asked for her to be disciplined. I can even see where what has happened is technically not a disciplinary action, although I’m sure it feels like it. Parents have understandably come to her defense, and the parents at the center of this issue said they never asked for any disciplinary action to be taken.

2. The issue for the district, the way I understand it, was in the word’s repeated use. In fact, a North Kitsap Herald editorial makes that case clear as well:

“The school district’s director of elementary education said it was not necessary for Alves to use the N-word in explaining that difference. And it wasn’t necessary for her to use the actual word again, and again in discussing the issue with the student’s parents.”

What Patty Page, North Kitsap School District superintendent, confirmed to me, as well, is that Alves used the word even after the district talked to her about it. The district did not place Alves on leave after her first use of the word. The way Shawna Smith tells it, Alves used the word four times, at least once after she had been advised not to. After the fourth instance, Smith called district officials again. She did not ask for disciplinary action. Smith told district officials, “She’s not getting it,” Smith said.

3. Some were confused by what word caused the problem. It was not “negro,” though that word was troubling to kids in the class asked to use it several times in the play “Martin Luther King, Jr. 10-minute mini: Overcoming Segregation.” In the play the kids were asked to sing lines pulled verbatim from actual Jim Crow laws. Here’s a snippet of the script:

NARRATOR #7: On living and dying:
CHORUS A: All marriages between a white person and a negro are forever
CHORUS B: It is unlawful for anyone to rent an apartment to a negro person
when the building has white people living there.
CHORUS A: Every hospital will have separate entrances for white and colored
patients and visitors.
CHORUS B: At a cemetery, no colored persons may be buried in ground set
apart for white persons.

Neither “negro” or the other “N-word” are considered acceptable anymore, but one was never neutral. The Leonard Pitts Jr. column referenced in the Herald editorial addresses the N-word.

“The N-word is unique. It was present at the act of mass kidnap that created “black America,” it drove the ship to get here, signed the contracts at flesh auctions on Southern ports as mother was torn from child, love from love and self from self. It had a front row center seat for the acts of blood, rape, castration, exclusion and psychological destruction by which the created people was kept down and in its place. The whole weight of our history dictates that word cannot be used except as an expression of contempt for African Americans.”

“Negro” was for many little more than a description of race, but in the late 1960s began, and “began” is important, to fall out of fashion. Slate’s Explainer column offers this history:

The turning point came when Stokely Carmichael coined the phrase black power at a 1966 rally in Mississippi. Until then, Negro was how most black Americans described themselves. But in Carmichael’s speeches and in his landmark 1967 book, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, he persuasively argued that the term implied black inferiority. Among black activists, Negro soon became shorthand for a member of the establishment. Prominent black publications like Ebony switched from Negro to black at the end of the decade, and the masses soon followed. According to a 1968 Newsweek poll, more than two-thirds of black Americans still preferred Negro, but black had become the majority preference by 1974. Both the Associated Press and the New York Times abandoned Negro in the 1970s, and by the mid-1980s, even the most hidebound institutions, like the U.S. Supreme Court, had largely stopped using Negro.

In the North Kitsap incident it was the lesser word that launched the use of the worse one, but it was the repeated use of the worse one that led to the paid leave.

4. It might seem a small point to many, but Alves was not “suspended.” She was placed on paid leave.

5. Answering why it’s OK for blacks to say the word and not other races skips over one point and deserves expansion on another. The first point is that many blacks argue against its use. Pitts did in his piece. “How can we require others to respect us when this word suggests we don’t respect ourselves?” he wrote.

Neal Lester, an English professor at Arizona State University, taught a course devoted to the N-word, and said this in a Southern Poverty Law Center Teaching Tolerance intervew:

“The poison is still there. The word is inextricably linked with violence and brutality on black psyches and derogatory aspersions cast on black bodies. No degree of appropriating can rid it of that bloodsoaked history.”

In addressing why there are different rules for non-blacks, I go to the first two sentences of this blog post. I have permission to say things to my wife that other people don’t. I mean, they can say it, but they shouldn’t expect there to be no consequences. If my wife and her sisters each called each other the B-word (not “Babe”), that wouldn’t give me permission to say that to my wife. I might not want my wife and her sisters to say that to each other, but I would also not argue that I should have the right, too. Nor would it mean the same thing. Her relationship with her sisters is different than the one she has with me.

The N-word, when said from a white person to a black person, carries a history with it that is different from the history when one black person says it to another. Perhaps you agree with Pitts that it still carries an oppressive energy no matter who says it, but you can’t deny that it’s different depending on who’s saying it.

And I like this answer, which is technically a question: Why do you want the right to say it anyway? Just don’t.

The video below comes from CNN and I think offers a pretty good treatment of the word, as good as you can get in 10 minutes. It addresses something we didn’t, the fact that there is no word you can use for white people that has anywhere near the meaning the N-word does. A word of warning: The N-word, the real one, is used several times.

Following the first story I got a call from a woman who said she was 92. She had no idea “negro” was no longer a word we use. She also said “I never say (the N-word),” only she used the real word. Later on in our conversation she said it again. Maybe that’s what we should be talking about, the act of saying what we “never” say.

No press box, for now, for Kingston

Note: Please do not copy this entire post or any post or news story and paste it on Facebook or any other site. Pull about a paragraph if you like and that’s considered legal “fair use.” Copying and pasting is a no-no and your teacher will lower your grade if you do it. Thank you.

In a 3-2 vote last week the North Kitsap School Board decided to not fund construction of a press box at the Kingston High School football field. It was a somewhat tortured decision, as board members did acknowledge that the board had made a commitment to the Kingston community.

But in the end there was some recognition that the commitment was for a different version of the press box than the one the board ultimately had designed, for safety reasons. And it was for less money.

This in no way marks the end of varsity football games at Kingston High School. I couldn’t attend Thursday’s meeting, (Other news took precedence.) but based on the district’s recording, which doesn’t include the public comment period, of the board’s discussion of it someone in the meeting said Kingston should play its games at North Kitsap.

Kingston backers seem prepared to live with the less than ample seating and head cover at its home games. The students want to play there and watch the games there. Much of the community loves having games at home. What they have is preferable to them to what they would have at what is clearly the home of the North Kitsap Vikings. My hunch is if the board had been asked whether Kingston should play at North Kitsap the vote would have been 5-0 against it, or maybe 4-1.

“Kingston has a right to have its games played and its band play on its field, and have its soccer team and football team and basketball team and everybody else play at its school and at its own homecoming at its home as North Kitsap has,” said Bill Webb, school board member.

This was not a vote about home games, though. It was just a vote about spending money on a press box, and board members said many in the community recognize that. Sure, a large number want the press box, but there were was a not insignificant number from Kingston who lobbied the board to not spend the money.

Scott Henden, board member and electrician, was willing to donate labor to putting in the electricity. He voted for the press box. Ken Ames did too.

Dan Weedin and Tom Anderson voted “no.” And Bill Webb, who before the vote said he hadn’t decided, ultimately decided that the money “now” wasn’t a good expense.

Kingston boosters and the student body had raised about $30,000. The district had earlier committed to $30,000 and set it aside. The final price tag was just south of $85,000. At least $25,000 too much for now.

The booster club meets Thursday and what to do next is on the agenda.

Kingston Buccaneers’ Game On at Home

This can continue in this very place. | Kitsap Sun file photo by Carolyn J. Yaschur

Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development issued an administrative revision that paves the way for Kingston High School to get a press box at its football field. The North Kitsap School District applied for a conditional use permit to host home games on campus and to add a press box. The county’s approval lends credibility to the idea that this is Kingston High’s home field for good. A building permit is next, barring appeal of the permit just approved.

While community support in Kingston has been high for home games, support is not universal throughout the district. NK Education, a group of North Kitsap adults interested in the education of their kids, gathered written comments about the field. There were lots, by far the majority, of people opposed who said spending $30,000 to match Kingston boosters’ contribution is too much at a time when the district is cutting elsewhere.

And there were those who said the field was never intended to be a place for games. Among those was former school board member Ed Strickland, who was on the board from 2003-2011. He wrote:

“This is what I remember:

“The area we had to work with was very limited. To even get a football field where we put it we had to get some kind of permission to use park land for some of the field. I think this is on the north east side of the field. There is a problem with the east side of the field in that it is on a hill side that could have a problem supporting that side of the field.

“We also had a problem with enough parking for the school. To solve this the field was considered a practice field in the permit process. After this was done we purchased the property to the south of the Spectrum site, so this could be added for parking at a later date.

“In the building of the field, I had Robin, with the Board approval, put in conduit for lights on the field. We also were able to add the artificial surface with some money saved from other parts of the construction. We really had to do this as we were getting artificial turf at the Poulsbo facility. The community raised some of the money for the lights as they were needed for a practice field.

“If we had thought that this was going to be a field for large crowds we would have put in the infrastructure for bathrooms and handicapped access for crowds. This we did not do as we never had the idea that we would not use the Poulsbo facility for games.
The lights were a real problem and the Board really messed up in not putting them in in the first place. This brought the community together in such a way that they supported playing football games at the field. Even though you have no stands to see a game and no way for the Band to have the crowd see their marching, both the Band and football parents put up with this and play their games at this field. There is no place for handicapped or restricted seniors to see a game at this facility.

“If you look at the site, you will see lots of infrastructure for storm water. Adding the stands that this field needs for proper use will require that this problem be evaluated.

“The community needs to be involved in the process of changing this practice field to a game field for spectators. The costs are going to be large. The parking and handicapped facilities will run the project into seven digits if it is done legally. The deed for the park may also be a problem. You can share my thoughts with anyone as most of this is part of the Board record. I voted against the design plan for the school and the field as I could see that where the field was placed was not very well planned.

“Ed Strickland, NK School Board, 2003-2011”

Residents brought up issues to the county about safety of the press box, traffic, stormwater, noise and light and other issues. The chief stumbling block to those who oppose this game use is the county’s opinion that the 2004 conditional use permit “does not limit the field’s use.” The county sees game use and a press box as a minor revision. The use and the press box fall within the bounds set by the previous environmental impact statement, according to the county.

The county has no say, of course, on the wisdom of the school board committing $30,000 toward the press box.

Another argument is that few districts elsewhere have more than one football field. Indeed the Central Kitsap School District’s three high schools all consider a field next to Olympic High School as their home football field. While true, you only need to go to Bellevue to find a school district with four high schools and four football stadiums. Sure, Bellevue is different from North Kitsap. But they have their reasons. North Kitsap and Kingston have theirs.

For all who might want to go back to what the district intended when it built Kingston, that is to not have Kingston play its home games on campus, it could very well be too late for that. Strickland might be the most correct in answering why. “The lights were a real problem and the Board really messed up in not putting them in in the first place. This brought the community together in such a way that they supported playing football games at the field,” he wrote. Once the district let the Kingston boosters raise enough money to put in lights, a huge improvement for that field, there was no way to tell them “no” anymore. The community had invested too much of its own labor, lucre and love to turn it down. Had the district put in the lights from the beginning there would have been little else around which the community could rally, nothing that would have generated as much enthusiasm.

Additionally, if the district had worked even before Kingston opened to alter the stadium at North Kitsap to be a home field for two teams, the anger that led to the lights in Kingston might never have happened either. In Central Kitsap that stadium is near Olympic High School, but it’s Silverdale Stadium, not Olympic.

It’s all Monday-morning quarterbacking now.

You don’t see this at every school board meeting

On June 13, 2013, Megan Leibold made her case in front of the North Kitsap School District’s board of directors. Most of her presentation is similar to anything you’ve ever heard in the public comment portion of school board meetings, though she is especially polished. That’s probably in some part due to the training that has served her well, evidenced by her title as Miss West Sound.

She decides to punctuate her presentation in a way I’ve seldom heard, in a way I wish I heard more. Watch the video.

The tepid applause, at first, is because the board had asked the audience to not applaud or boo during the comment session as a way of controlling the time better.