My 13-year-old son wasn’t supposed to take any elective classes this year.
Jeremiah will talk your ear off if you’ll let him, and he might miss your social cues when he starts sharing a detailed description of his collection of history books. Although his intelligence is clearly beyond his years, his schedule was going to be full of special education classes fulfilling his core eighth-grade credits. Fortunately, however, my local school district and Washington state Superintendent Chris Reykdal have made a priority of including special education students like my son in general education classrooms.
Over the past four years, I’ve witnessed Superintendent Chris Reykdal prioritize the inclusion of special education students and set goals to support them towards meaningful graduation, which is why I’m voting to re-elect him.
Thanks to Washington’s state’s recent focus on inclusion, I currently have the privilege of helping my son with coursework for his APP Creators elective class where he’s learning the basics of “block coding and code reasoning” (and he knows more about how my phone works than I do). I don’t take that for granted as a special education parent in a state that has historically had some of the lowest inclusion rates in the country.
I serve as a member of the special education inclusion committee in my district, and I need this work to continue. My son enters high school next year and his future rides on the choices made by our state superintendent over the next four years. There’s still work to be done, but he now has a chance because Superintendent Reykdal and his team have supported special education students and made significant progress in our current system.
There’s never going to be a perfect candidate, but from what I’ve seen of both candidates, Superintendent Reykdal wants the best outcomes for all students. I really think Reykdal is the better choice - he understands that every educational journey has value.
Inclusion is about making sure every student is accepted and embraced. It’s not just about my family or my son, because someone else’s situation is going to be different. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with you, and I hope you’ll join me in voting to re-elect Superintendent Chris Reykdal.