I am a high school graduate of the class of 2020, and since I just celebrated my 18th birthday, I’m also a first-time voter. This summer I had the opportunity to speak with the current Superintendent of Washington schools, Chris Reykdal, as the co-host of a student-led Q&A with Stand where we discussed his plans to support student needs this year.
As I prepare to cast my first ballot, I am voting to re-elect Superintendent Reykdal because he has shown himself to be receptive and responsive to students’ concerns.
Superintendent Reykdal began his career as a classroom teacher and has kids who attend Washington public schools, meaning all of his decisions directly impact his own family. As the older sibling of four current public school students who I’m helping navigate remote learning, his decisions will also directly impact my family.
Not all students have the same advantages, and I believe the Superintendent understands that. He honestly addresses the need for antiracism in our schools and recognizes that students of color frequently experience systematic discrimination, including funding and discipline. I have personally felt the positive impacts of policies that support low-income families accessing dual credit education. He’s been a champion of removing financial barriers to dual credit classes, which academically challenge students and save families money by earning college credits early.
Although my graduation ceremony this past June was much different than I could have ever imagined, I was grateful to know that the state superintendent’s office had the health of students as their top priority. While I support my siblings through an unprecedented year of school at home, I’m confident that Superintendent Reykdal will continue to prioritize my family’s safety while we all work together to support students on their education journey.
Stand for Children Volunteer Fellow
Class of 2020, Spokane Public Schools