Letters to the Editor, Dec. 22, 2015

Help continue Camas schools’ tradition of excellence

As a Camas resident, I’d like you to consider how many times you are reminded of the very real contribution of Camas schools to our community.

Is it your new neighbors who say they moved here just for the reputation of the K-12 program? Is it your realtor or business colleagues who comment on the monetary benefits they experience daily, with a direct tie to the tradition of quality schools? I’m guessing it’s all of the above.

Beginning in 1994, our citizens began a generous trend of support for the brick and mortar facilities connected to school bonds when they funded Skyridge Middle School. That was followed with more bonding approval in 1999 and 2007 — ultimately leading to the current CHS as well as four new schools, a stadium and renovation to many other district facilities.

I would argue that with each of these successful initiatives, the district entered into a special agreement with its residents. For three decades, promises were made. If you provide the housing for academic and co-curricular programs, we will fill it with excellence. Have those promises been kept? I think the results speak for themselves:

o Since 2009 Camas schools have received 23 separate Annual Achievement Award distinctions from the State of Washington based on academic performance.

o Evidence of academic success — via test scores and other measures is consistently some of the highest in our county and beyond.

o US News and World Report recognized CHS as one of the best high schools in the nation, ranking 20th in the state of Washington.

o The band, choir, Science Olympiad, middle and high school athletic teams, Mock Trial and drama programs are all recognized as statewide powerhouse programs.

It’s a record of distinction that begs to continue. The tradition of success has made Camas a great place for students and families, but it has also filled up our schools.

Once again, the district is asking for our support for bond/building dollars so that students can be housed and programs can continue to grow. I am encouraging voters to review the bond information connected to this request. And don’t just make a leap of faith — consider the history of promises made and promises kept. If you do, I am sure you will join other longtime Camas residents and Papermakers, like me, when we vote “yes” on this important measure.

Tanis Knight

Camas

Camas library is worth every penny

December being a month of gift giving, I was reminded of what a wonderful gift the Camas library is to our city.

We as a community voted years ago to pay a price in order to have a gift like this. Because the library has remained a city program we have a facility where families, young adults and senior citizens feel at home. We have librarians who know our names and have invested in the lives of our children.

When I meet new people who have moved to the area, one of the first things they comment on is the treasure of the library and its staff. Excellence always has a cost, and the library has been worth every penny we voted to spend. When I think about all the different things our tax dollars fund, the Camas library is one program where the money is not wasted. Community is built and grows due to the excellent services and facilities provided.

Thank you citizens of Camas for voting to keep our library a city program and a huge “thank you” to our library staff for stewarding this gift so well. Merry Christmas Camas!

Lynette Ramirez

Camas

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