WSD Superintendent: ‘Hero’ teachers rise to challenge during COVID-19 crisis

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category icon Columns, COVID-19 coverage, Opinion, Schools, Washougal

By Mary Templeton

Guest Columnist

As we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation week, May 4-8, I am convinced that our teachers are “heroes” in our society and that their commitment and investment in the lives of our children matter greatly for all of us.  

With the recent closure of our schools through the end of the school year, our teachers have collectively risen to the task of quickly creating and implementing a new way of educating the 3,000 students in the Washougal School District. Our teaching staff graciously and gracefully “pivoted on a dime” to reinvent the American education system. 

I am humbled by the grit, determination, creativity, resiliency, compassion and care our teachers have shown the Washougal community during this unprecedented event. Thank you to all of our teachers for your unwavering commitment to know, nurture and challenge all of our students to rise.  

Our teachers are successfully implementing a distance-learning plan, where students connect with their teachers, continue to learn, receive feedback on their work with encouragement and support and stay intellectually engaged, all while our school buildings are closed.  

Many of our “heroes” are maintaining their commitment to our 3,000 students, while attending to the needs of their own children who are home with them. Our teachers have developed their abilities to navigate new technologies and are supporting virtual classroom meetings, reading stories to their class, creating science kits for families, assessing student learning and planning for new lessons.

Although this has certainly been a challenging time for all of us, I am inspired by the teamwork and service from our teachers to our Washougal community of learners. 

Our school district is rising to the challenge by collaborating, creating, innovating and nurturing the joy of learning in the hearts of our students, in the midst of this crisis. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve this exceptional school district, and I am thankful for an amazing staff.  

Even through crisis, we are all affirming our collective commitment to see our district rise.

Mary Templeton, Ph.D, is the superintendent of the Washougal School District.