By Florine Gingerich
The Edmonds School Board celebrated two educators at its Dec. 14 meeting, Molly McFadden and Pandora Touart.
McFadden, a Family and Consumer Science Education instructor at Lynnwood High School, is an outstanding teacher, always looking for innovative ways to engage her students. Earlier this year she earned the Ed Erickson Career and Technical Teacher of the Year award.
Touart, a Resource Conservation Specialist since 2009, has created a culture of energy conservation within the district, which reduced electricity use by 6 percent over last year, exceeding goals. Her efforts have resulted in significant cost savings and an elevated awareness of the value derived from preserving the environment. She is leaving Edmonds to start a resource conservation program in another school district, but her work will form the basis for future conservation efforts here.
Touart’s celebration segued into a presentation by Kathy Vaughn, a PUD commissioner, who presented the district with a check for $38,030.38 as a rebate for its reduced electrical consumption. Vaughn noted that when the rebate is combined with direct savings on electric bills, participation in the PUD’s conservation program has netted the district over $128,000 to date.
Not all the news of the night was as positive.
- The percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches is growing and, of the total meals served, the percentage served to those students is also growing. Federal reimbursements don’t cover the full cost of such meals.
- During the special legislative session on Dec. 11, legislators adopted a supplemental budget that included suspension of payments to school districts for the purpose of reducing K-4 class sizes and other school funding cuts. The district can use supplemental levy funds to make up for the loss of revenue, and the Board members are grateful to the public for their levy support. Further cuts may occur when the Legislature meets in January.
- In late November, frozen pipes caused extensive water damage inside Meadowdale Elementary and Alderwood Elementary. Inspectors recommended that the district contract with an outside company to dry out the buildings properly and prevent further damage. The Board declared an emergency so that the work can be done without competitive bidding.
- The Board approved $250,000 to cover costs associated with city approval for rezoning and redeveloping the former Lynnwood High School property. Those funds are expected to be reimbursed. Development of the property will ultimately result in an income stream to the district. However, that money goes into the district’s capital fund. Under state law it cannot be used to hire teachers or purchase textbooks.
My Edmonds New school board contributor Florine Gingerich has a son who attended the Edmonds public schools, where she volunteered in roles ranging from pouring juice in kindergarten at Madrona K-8 to serving as president of the Edmonds-Woodway Music Boosters. With her husband, Doug Purcell, she practices law at Purcell & Adams, PLLC, a South County firm emphasizing business law, real estate and estate planning. Visit them at purcelladams.com, or contact her at email@example.com.