New hires for feeling of safety l Mukilteo Schools

By Marci Larsen, Mukilteo School District Superintendent | Sep 05, 2019

The excitement of back-to-school time is in the air once again. New and returning staff have been preparing for students and polishing their skills through professional trainings and workshops this past month. More students and families than ever are registering for school this year, bringing our projected student enrollment to over 15,300. Our community schools are full of students happy to see their friends and teachers, and ready to learn.

One of the most important factors in students’ readiness to learn is their feeling of safety. We have worked hard over many years to create that safety and have made some leaps this year. We recently created two new positions at the district to help ensure and support student and staff physical and emotional safety.

Just before school was out, we hired Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell as the Director of Equity. Her job is to help continue our work of educating staff and students about equity in all its forms including racial, gender, gender identity, ability, economic, language, country of origin, and more. It is a challenging task, but Gerry’s background as an equity leader in educational justice makes her the perfect person for the job. She has a master’s in Whole Systems Design and is currently achieving her doctorate in Transformative Studies and Consciousness.

Gerry’s work goes hand-in-hand with the policy work the board has been doing. As the board states in their equity policy, “Our shared focus is to eliminate racism, inequities, and institutional bias, which will help increase achievement and graduation rates for all students, while narrowing the academic and opportunity gaps between the highest and lowest performing students.” We are committed to promoting a vision for public education that advances inclusiveness, equity, and racial and social justice in our schools and society, and we recognize that you are an important partner in that effort.

If you would like to learn more about Gerry or the district’s equity work, visit the Equity webpage under the Our District tab on our website, www.mukilteoschools.org.

This summer, we also hired Tim Reeves as the district Safety and Security Manager. Tim worked with Everett Police for the past 24 years and was most recently a sergeant overseeing school resource officers and school security in several school districts, including a few schools in Mukilteo School District. Did I mention he also has a degree in education? Tim’s experience and established relationships in our community make him an absolute treasure for our staff and students. He already started training administrators and school security personnel in August and is connecting with each school to provide additional staff training this fall.

We are always improving and learning more about how we can provide a better experience for students in a world that seems to get more complex each year. We do our best to model the values we hope students will mirror. I believe the more adults who do that will truly help shape the lives of children and the future of our community.

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