Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Cory Armstrong-Hoss
Nonprofit guy and father of three 

Guest View | Can you change the world with your pen?


Last updated 1/29/2020 at 12:02pm

In the next two weeks, you can.

With your pen, you can give the 600 students at Mukilteo Elementary – a school built for 350 – more classrooms and a new gymnasium. You can give breathing room to those 1,900 kids squeezing into portables and crowding into common spaces. You can ease overcrowding at Mariner HS, Explorer MS, Serene Lake, Challenger, Discovery and Horizon. You can start replacing the old, galvanized pipes in Explorer that give the water a yellowish tint, so the next generation of Explorer kids have new classrooms, a new gym, and clear water.

With your pen you can make our kids safer, with integrated lock systems on doors, secured access entry points, and emergency contact systems. You can expand and improve our fiber-optic and Wi-Fi systems. You can improve 17 playfields, tracks, and courts, and upgrade our Performing Arts Center.

With your pen, you can invest $240 million in our schools.

They deserve it.

Families move to our community because of Mukilteo School District's excellent educators, graduation rates, and financial stewardship. With dozens of partnerships with nonprofits, the public sector, and aerospace -- and the innovative Sno-Isle Skills Center -- our district leads the way in preparing our kids to succeed in post-secondary education and in the workforce, and to become conscientious, engaged citizens. And, we attract many of the best teachers in the state because of our quality of life, investment in education, and health of our district.

As a nurse at a Title I elementary school, my wife sees how our teachers, administrators, and specialists work hard every day to ensure all kids succeed. She's often in meetings for 1-2 hours with multiple staff and the parent of one child, so they can co-create working solutions and a follow up plan. For one child. In a school of over 520. Because every kid matters.

But the school district bond vote on Feb. 11 isn't just about K-12 kids. It's about a fundamental question: As voters in the greater Mukilteo community, who do we want to be?

Do we want highly engaged citizens, educated and ready to contribute to the 21st Century workforce? Do we want healthy property values, our biggest investments growing each year because families want to move to Mukilteo? Do we want thriving businesses, and customers with a decent income to support those businesses? Do we want centers of deep connection and support -- nonprofits, churches and social services -- supported by committed donors and volunteers? Do we want high quality, affordable early childhood education like ECEAP, so all kids have the opportunity for a great start during the crucial early years?

My wife and I want all of these things for our kids.

We want them for our sixth grader. You'll find him delivering the Beacon afterschool on Wednesdays, playing alto sax at a band concert, or trying to hit 60 mph with his fastball at the Mukilteo Little League complex.

We want them for our second grader. You'll find him in Chess Club on Tuesday afternoons, speed-reading a Percy Jackson book, or in swim lessons at the YMCA on Saturday mornings.

We want them for our five-year-old. When she's not belting out Frozen songs or changing outfits, she's climbing our Magnolia tree or playing micro-soccer at Rosehill.

We want them for your kids too, and for all kids.

In moments like this, I think about the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks, who reminded us that "We are each other's business; we are each other's harvest; we are each other's magnitude and bond."

With election day fast approaching, consider this question: Can you change the world with your voice?

The members of our volunteer citizen's team think that we can. So do our PTSAs, our key communicators, and the 42 champions for Mukilteo Schools: business owners, community leaders, and educators focused on passing this bond. Join us and use your voice for our 15,000 students and for the next generation.

Ways to use your voice before Feb. 11:

1. Sign up for a sign waving shift on a Saturday morning.

2. Call or e-mail 10 voters and encourage them to vote 'Yes.'

3. Put up a yard sign in your home or business.

4. Like our Facebook page and share our videos with your friends.

5. Create a post or short video to share on social media about why you support the bond.

6. Change your Facebook profile picture to add the "I'm Voting Yes For Kids" frame.

For more information on these and other ways to use your voice, visit:

In the next two weeks, you have a chance to change the world with your pen and your voice.

Our kids and teachers deserve it. And, the future of our community depends on it.


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