Category Archives: Central Kitsap Schools

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A Thankful Farewell to Joanne Vitalich – A Legacy of Love & Advocacy

Joanne Vitalich Retires from CKSD

December 21, 2012 signals the end to a lifetime of dedication and faithful service to our children and community. After 34 years of employment as a para-educator, specializing in Special Ed within the Central Kitsap School District, Joanne Vitalich is retiring.

Joanne’s career can best be characterized as one who has been a fierce and tireless advocate for her students. She is also known for her tremendous capacity of endearing, genuine love for her students, often winning the hearts of even the most challenging or hardened cases.

Her dry, sassy humor will be sorely missed by staff and students alike. No doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of young lives have been positively impacted by the wonderful contributions made by Joanne over all these years.

Thank you, Joanne! You will be sorely missed!…

My Vote of Confidence in Superintendent Greg Lynch

I am deeply saddened and disturbed at the recent actions of the CKEA (Central Kitsap Education Association) in their seemingly clandestine vote of no confidence for CK Superintendent Greg Lynch, and a similar stamp of disapproval against Special Education Director Bill Mosiman.

Here is a link to the article:  Part of CK Teacher’s Union votes no confidence in Superintendent and Special Ed Director

There are a great many things we DON’T know in regards to this story. We don’t know the specific issues, concerns, or criticisms that the CKEA leadership/members have against Mr. Lynch or Mr. Mosiman. We don’t know if the CKEA leadership/members have made any previous genuine efforts to engage either gentlemen in meaningful dialog in an attempt to resolve or work through such issues/concerns.

All we do know is that some element within the CKEA is clearly upset and dissatisfied with both individuals, and wants to make their displeasure known to the rest of us.

Now for what I DO know.

My family and I have lived here in Central Kitsap for over 10 years. All four of our kids have gone through the CK school system.  One of my sons recently graduated summa cum laude from a local university, another is graduating with academic honors from Olympic College. Overall, we have had some really great experiences with teachers and staff within the CK district, and have been very pleased with the level of education our kids have received.

Mr. Lynch began his employment as Superintendent shortly after we moved here. We were immediately impressed with how genuinely caring and personable he was. Over the years, we have observed his consistent involvement in our kid’s classrooms, talking with their teachers, and personally attending nearly every major school event.

During our past two successful levies, I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the CK Kids Matter Group. During my involvement there, I became even more intimately acquainted with Mr. Lynch, and share the following observations:

Greg Lynch is a man of great integrity. He possesses a very strong and tireless work ethic. He genuinely cares about the people of our community, but particularly, the students, teachers, and staff of CKSD. He’s not a flashy limelight kind of guy, but prefers to work behind the scenes. He obviously must have an incredibly loving and supportive wife and family that allows and encourages him to invest so much time with the district, and away from them.

There may very well be some legitimate, heartfelt concerns or issues by some who are dissatisfied with the current administration of CKSD, and since Greg Lynch is the key figurehead, the buck naturally stops with him. I think Mr. Lynch understands all too well the criticisms that typically accompany such a title/position. Being a school superintendent is one of those thankless jobs where you can never seem to please everyone, no matter how hard you may try.

I wonder about the value and validity of unions these days. They seem to breed a spirit of adversity where one doesn’t need to exist. I truly hope that the CKEA can work out their differences with Mr. Lynch and Mr. Mosiman in a manner that is both fair and civil. Regardless of these recent events, we are all still very fortunate to have such an amazingly talented and committed staff of educators in our district.

I would like to publicly go on record as casting my vote of YES confidence for Greg Lynch as CK Superintendent.  Thanks, Mr. Lynch. Keep up the great work!

What Message is Olympia Sending to Our Teachers?

What message are our legislators sending to our valued educators?

Your personal improvement and continuing education aren’t important.

We want you to work harder, and longer, increase classroom sizes, but get paid less money.

Once again, our elected officials are refusing to obey their statutory mandate to fully fund education. Over the weekend, our beloved Senate passed their proposed supplemental budget. Sadly, it’s a version that makes significant cuts to education. Additionally, it fails to maintain the NBCT (National Board Certified Teachers) incentives at their current level.

National Board Certification is one of the few viable options that our educators have for improving their knowledge base and increasing their earning potential.

The Senate’s current version of the budget, which passed on the Senate floor in the wee hours last Saturday morning, would cut the current NBCT stipend in half for most board certified teachers. The House version offers a kinder reduction for regular school teachers, but again reduces the stipend for teachers at challenging schools by half.

Before Thursday, March 8th, the House and Senate must come into agreement on a single budget by negotiating on the differences between their two budget proposals. No final decisions have been made as of yet.

What can we do between now and Thursday? Take 10 minutes out of your day and contact our legislators!

  • Email our legislators and let them know how you feel about the proposed budgets. The standard email format for legislators is
  • Leave your legislators a phone message. Go to to find contact information.
  • If your legislator supports funding the stipends, a kind word of ‘thank you and ‘keep up the good work’ can go a long way.

Update on CK Schools Supplemental Levy Voting Results

Although the final updated results won’t be available until February 27th, the latest election results indicate that the CK Schools Supplemental Levy will pass by a narrow margin.

You can find the actual results posted HERE.

Even if successfully passed, this supplemental levy will only reduce the current SY 12-13 budget shortfall by $2 million. We will still be facing a very significant financial challenge for the next several years at least.

I realize that it’s a bit premature, but a HUGE “Thank You!” to all the area residents who voted in support of our valued Central Kitsap School District and ultimately the continued educational well-being of our children!

CK Schools Need Our Help – Vote ‘YES!’ on Supplemental Levy

Local Central Kitsap residents received their ballots by mail this past week for casting their vote in support of Central Kitsap School District’s Supplemental Levy.

Now I know what you’re thinking, didn’t we just pass a levy last year? Yes, we did, a Capital Projects levy for badly needed improvements and repairs to our schools facilities and systems. Voters turned out in resounding support of that levy.

And now, because our State legislators have chosen to ignore their statutory mandate/responsibility to fully fund public education, our local school district is left holding the proverbial budget short-fall bag to the tune of some $6.3 million dollars. Adding to their dilemma/misery, Federal heavy impact aid matching dollars were also recently removed.

Read more: Vote ‘YES!’ on CK’s Supplemental Levy

As a father of four children who have all passed through the halls of Central Kitsap schools, I have become a huge fan and supporter of the CK School District, their amazing educators, administrators, and board.

We are most fortunate to have Mr. Greg Lynch at the helm, especially during such difficult and economically turbulent times as these. Both Greg and Director of Finance, David McVicker, have done an incredible job, just short of miraculous, by anticipating and planning contingencies for just such situations. In fact, CK officials have trimmed over $14.6 million dollars from their budget over the past 5 years! Unfortunately, even with all their hard work and faithful stewardship, the present short-fall is still very large and daunting.

As a result, area residents are being asked once again to rise up to the ocassion, and support our nationally award winning CK schools!

We are being asked to vote ‘YES!’ in support of a 2-year levy that will raise $3.8 million in each year. This translates t0 $0.62 per $1000 of property valuation. For a house valued at $250K, that’s about $155, or approximately $13 per month. So maybe we can go without our Starbuck’s latte once a week?

Listen, I know times are tough. The last thing we need is yet one more drain on our already over-taxed wallets. But this levy is going towards covering basic educational and operational expenses. We’re not talking about debatable fringe or elective programs. This is basic stuff, the core of what makes our schools such amazing places of learning for our kids.

So please, make a very worthwhile sacrifice and investment in our children, and ultimately in our community as a whole.

Thank you for your support!

Rich Jacobson

Why I Support Jeanie Schulze for CKSD School Board

I first met Jeanie by virtue of my privileged involvement in the CK Kids Matter Group where we worked closely together to help drum up local support for the successful passage of the recent school levy.

Jeanie has over 30 years of experience as a parent volunteer, community member, and district employee.  She has a deep understanding of the difficulties our schools are dealing with and the crucial role our School Board provides in setting policy, providing common-sense leadership, and the strength of character necessary to make tough decisions.

Jeanie retired as CK School District Community Relations Specialist with experience in budget, finance, and facilities planning. She has developed volunteer programs that provide helpful district information to parents, staff, and the community.

She has served on the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Board, the Paul Linder Education Foundation Board, the CK Kids Matter Committee, and currently serves on the Kitsap Adult Center for Education Board.

She earned her B.A. from Indiana University and is a nationally certified facilitator and trainer for developing school volunteer and community partnerships.

With the very significant challenges facing our district in the next few years, we need the seasoned, experienced talents/abilities, and commitment that Jeanie Schulze offers.

Please join me in support of her bid for CK School Board!

Two CKSD schools make List of America’s Best High Schools

Central Kitsap School District is one of the best districts in the StateTwo CKSD schools were recently named to the list of America’s Best High Schools. Central Kitsap High School (CKHS) earned a spot on the annual list of the nation’s top-rated public high schools for the ninth time, and Klahowya Secondary School (KSS) was listed for the second time in the school’s history.

Only 7 percent of all the public schools in the country made this year’s list, which was published by The Washington Post. CKHS ranked at 362 nationally, up 78 spots from last year. With a challenge index of 2.81, CKHS is celebrating the highest index score in its history and ranks in the top 2 percent of all public high schools nationally.

Klahowya ranked at 1,406 nationally, also up from last year. The school’s challenge index, 1.396, rose from last year, too.

Statewide, only 40 high schools (of nearly 500) appeared on the list. CKHS ranks sixth in the state, while KSS ranks at 28.

The list of America’s Best High Schools is based the “Challenge Index.” The formula divides the number of college-level (e.g., Advance Placement) tests a school gives by the number of graduating seniors. According to The Washington Post, while the scores are not necessarily a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.

“I am proud to congratulate Central Kitsap High School and Klahowya Secondary School for this very visible and well-deserved recognition,” said Superintendent Greg Lynch. “This achievement did not happen by chance. These schools have worked hard to create an academically rigorous culture, and our students are most certainly rising to the challenge.”

Four CKSD Students Named Washington Scholars

The Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board has named four Central Kitsap School District students as Washington Scholars for 2011, including one alternate:

  • Christopher Campbell — Olympic High School (Legislative District #23)
  • Vincent Dour — Central Kitsap High School (Legislative District #35)
  • Kristin Duprie — Olympic High School (Legislative District #23, Alternate)
  • Lindsey Holdren — Central Kitsap High School (Legislative District #23)
  • The Washington Scholars program recognizes the accomplishments of high school seniors from each of the state’s 49 legislative districts. The program is administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board in cooperation with the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals.

    High school principals nominate the top one percent of their graduating senior classes on the basis of academic achievement, leadership and community service. A selection committee, comprising representatives from public and private high schools, state educational agencies, and public and private four-year colleges and universities, then winnows the list. The three highest-scoring candidates in each legislative district are named Washington Scholars. The fourth-ranked candidate is designated the Washington Scholar Alternate.

    For nearly 20 years, the Washington Scholar with the highest final score in each legislative district has received a monetary scholarship for up to four years of tuition and fees at any public or independent college or university in Washington. However, this year’s scholarships will likely not be funded in the 2011-13 state biennial budget due to the severe economic conditions affecting all state expenditures.

    (Authors Note: Congratulations to these students for all of their hard work and commitment to educational excellence. It’s highly unfortunate that current State budget shortfalls may preclude them from receiving any monetary reward for their efforts, especially if the possibility of those funds were promoted as being available at the start of the academic year. Nonetheless, kudos to these amazing students for achieving Washington Scholar status)

    Prisoners to Australia and WA Education Budget Cuts


    Some good friends of mine stopped by for a visit earlier today. They’re a young couple I had the pleasure of marrying a few years back. She’s a nurse working at Harborview, and he’s in the process of finishing up his Master’s studies and is currently fulfilling his requirements for student teaching (he wants to teach middle or high school).

    As a young married couple struggling to make ends meet, our conversation eventually turned towards recent decisions made the the WA State Legislator to reduce Teacher pay, bonuses, and incentives.

    Though Washington Constitution makes education the State’s top priority, you wouldn’t know it by the way our elected officials are cutting money that is spent on schools. In fact, the percentage of budget dollars paid out towards education has been rapidly declining for a number of years.

    But let’s face it, these are tough times. And as they say, tough times require tough measures. Cuts desperately need to be made, and everyone is going to be affected by it – the administrators, the teachers, and ultimately, the students.

    So let’s take a look at the education cuts already on the discussion table for the next biennium, most of which are part of the governor’s budget proposal:

    — A total of $1 billion from two different class-size reduction programs  (one of which was authorized by voters in 2000).

    — A 6.3 percent cut in levy equalization — money that goes to “property poor” districts that have trouble raising local tax dollars. Many lawmakers oppose this idea, but it would save $39.5 million.

    — About $99.5 million in teacher bonuses for earning national board certification (another initiative that was approved by voters)

    — A suspension of salary-step increases would cut another $56.3 million from teacher pay.

    Voter-approved teacher cost-of-living raises amounting to $253.3 million.

    — About $18.6 million for gifted or “highly capable” education.

    — More than $37 million for a variety of teacher training, mentoring and continuing education programs.

    — About $57 million would be saved by not expanding all-day kindergarten to more school districts.

    — Another $95.6 million would be saved if the state changes the way it supports the replacement of old school buses.

    — About $40 million could be saved in the next biennium by putting off the state’s science and math graduation requirements. Eliminating all the graduation requirements related to the High School Proficiency Exam could save more than $84 million.

    Notice how many of the cuts relate to teachers – cuts in pay, raises, bonuses, incentives, and training.

    Then add to that the cuts that will result in an increase in classroom sizes, and our valued educators are left with the unappreciative edict, ‘Do More for Less!’

    Some of these proposed cuts beg the question, “Why should WA voters bother to vote on initiatives if Olympia is going to turn a deaf ear and do as they please?

    To our elected Representatives:

    What incentives are there for professional educators to improve their skills? What encourages our teachers to rise above the status-quo and strive for educational excellence? How can a teaching professional work towards improving their earning potential?

    Unfortunately, the decision-makers in Olympia are sending a very strong and negative message to our educators:   “Don’t excel. Stay complacent. Punch the clock.”

    My friend then shared a fitting illustration he had recently heard on NPR.

    Evidently, back in the 1700’s when the British were transporting prisoners off to Australia, there were a significant number of prisoners who were dying en-route due to maltreatment. The British tried all kinds of remedies – from imposing more rules, forcing Captains to hire doctors, more citrus to fight off scurvy, and increasing Captain’s salaries. But nothing worked.

    Finally, an economist had an idea: instead of paying the Captains for the number of prisoners that embarked on the voyage, the government should only pay for the prisoners who walked off the ship in Australia.

    They implemented this strategy, and suddenly, the survivability rate rapidly improved to 99%.

    Thus, the first fundamental lesson of economics was born:  Incentives matter!

    (you can listen to the broadcast in its entirety by clicking on the following link)

    CKSD to Host Annual Budget Meetings

    During the recent CKSD Capital Projects levy, there were a number of people who posted comments to articles published by the Kitsap Sun. Some of these individuals were highly critical of the Central Kitsap School administration, especially as it relates to their handling of financial resources (You know who you are!).

    Well, here is their chance to actually participate in the process and provide input!

    The Central Kitsap School District will be hosting two community meetings for the purposes of discussing the CKSD Operating Budget for the coming shcool year (2011-2012). The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, march 2nd, at 6:30pm, and Thursday, March 3rd, at 6:30pm. Both meetings will be held in the Jenne-Wright Gymnasium, located at 9210 Silverdale Way NW. All CKSD parents and community members are invited to attend to learn more about the budget process and to provide feedback.

    CKSD continues to face significant funding challenges stemming from State funding, decreasing enrollment, and increased costs. Without substantial changes at the Federal or State levels to fully fund education, these challenges will continue.

    Based upon initial State budget proposals, CKSD could be required to reduce up to $2.2 million from its $113 million budget. These reductions are in addition to K-12 funding cuts for the current school year imposed by the State legislature during December’s special session. The district will not know the full extent of its budget shortfall for the 2011-12 schoo year until the final State budget is released this Spring.

    CKSD Superintendent Greg Lynch commented:

    “As in years past, our School Board and administration will continue to make difficult fiscal decisions with the  intent of minimizing impacts to our educational program. Although we are disappointed that the State Legislature repeatedly falls short of its responsibility to fully fund public schools, we’ll keep our focus on our commitment to provide CKSD students a high quality education within existing resources.”