When I moved into the Orting School District 18 years ago, my family and I knew instantly this place was something special.
We were drawn to the area by the town’s tight-knit community and nurturing environment that allowed our kids to grow up with strong civic values, opportunities to be active in the community, and most important of all, obtain a quality education.
Two of my children went on to graduate from Orting High School and then the University of Washington. Looking back, our move to Orting was one of the best decisions we’ve made.
Today, one of my daughters is raising her family here, and soon my granddaughter will attend Orting schools. Every day I hear of new families drawn to Orting because of its scenic beauty, livability, engaging community spirit and the exceptional quality of our schools. I am proud to be among those who support Orting schools and proud to serve as president of the Orting School Board.
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People sometimes ask what motivates me to volunteer so much time and energy to our schools. The short answer is, as a member of the Orting community, I want to ensure we have up-and-coming, well-educated youths who are ready for college, careers and life — because these young people will contribute to a healthy local economy and the financial and social benefits it provides.
Additionally, as a grandparent, I want the best educational opportunities available to my grandchildren and their classmates. Schools are the heart of our great community. I consider my involvement an honor and a privilege.
This past year, the School Board, along with several community and school staff members, had the opportunity to participate in a yearlong facility planning process to determine how to address the most urgent needs of the Orting community and schools.
The most notable issues that emerged included overcrowded classrooms at the elementary level, student safety and security concerns throughout the district, and a desire for more opportunities for the community to use school facilities.
This comprehensive, community-driven process resulted in a capital facility bond measure, which is now in the hands of voters. (Ballots must be postmarked by Feb. 14). I am enthusiastic about the proposal and, if it is approved, the work it will enable us to complete.
The district has sent information about the bond measure to all households. I encourage you to read it carefully. You will see the great needs we have as a district, as well as the creative ways we’ve tried to address facility challenges over the past several years.
If you have questions, Superintendent Marci Shepard and all members of the board are happy to discuss the proposal with you.
Orting has long been committed to its young people, with educators, administrators, parents, and community members committed to their care, education and future. Strong, vital schools are crucial to the short- and long-term health of this wonderful small town.
By addressing the needs of schools now, Orting is in a prime position to set its course for an even brighter future.
When I look at what we have achieved so far, I am proud of the community I chose to live in and our history of support for Orting schools. The future starts now, and that’s why I encourage a yes on the Orting bond measure.
Stanley Holland is president of the Orting School Board.