The latest messages from David VanderYacht, Lynden Schools superintendent
Dec. 29, 2022:
Warm greetings to our staff, students, families and community members. The turning of the calendar provides me with the opportunity to reflect on the first part of the school year and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
My first six months leading Lynden Schools have been professionally fulfilling and personally humbling. The single greatest reward is watching the quality and quantity of people committed to personal excellence while supporting others striving to do the same. We’ve generally replaced the unproductive energy associated with the divisiveness we witnessed over the past couple years with a collective resolve to focus on every kid, every day. There will always be diverse perspectives on how best to accomplish the mission of public education, but Lynden Schools, under my leadership, will continue to promote and pursue engagement among all stakeholders to increase the likelihood of our results meeting the needs of the families and the community we serve.
I’m proud of our students, staff members, school leaders, families and community partners. The time I spend in our schools, classrooms and attending activities reinforces a conclusion I’ve made over my 30 years in education: The most important influence on the development of students results from the cumulative interactions that happen between youth and the adults investing in their lives. The importance of parents, neighbors, coaches, bus drivers, instructional staff and all support staff cannot be overstated. If you find yourself in one, or many, of these roles, I hope you recognize the blessing of your responsibility, and on behalf of Lynden Schools, I extend our deepest gratitude.
Our buses are scheduled to roll again on January 3, 2023. Lynden Schools will continue to prioritize our four areas of focus in the new calendar year:
Our renewed energies for re-imagined and innovative programming will continue throughout 2023, particularly at the bookends of our PK-21 service model. Embedding a transitional kindergarten program (4-year-olds) within each of our comprehensive elementary schools is proving a powerful community service. At the other end of the spectrum, energy placed in pursuing and expanding pathways while preparing graduates for high-demand positions in the trades will continue.
I’m particularly excited about the three superintendent advisory groups— Community Connections, Facilities Planning and Student Advisory—and the willingness of community members, students and staff members serving on these teams.
Indications show that the early months of the new year will present us with a significant challenge related to budget planning for 2023-2024. Public schools are a result of state government and supported by budget decisions that come out of the legislature and governor’s office. There is a general sentiment among school superintendents that school budget planning for 2023-2024 will be difficult. I’m hopeful the state will recognize the responsibility to fully fund public education but also recognize the importance and responsibility of taking a measured, careful approach. I plan to provide more budget-focused messages in the months ahead, outlining factors contributing to the challenges, highlighting early projections from Olympia and noting decisions surrounding potential budget reprioritization.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a great start to the new year!
Lynden Schools Superintendent
Aug. 22, 2022:
We Are Glad You Are Here
Warmest of greetings to the students, families, and friends of Lynden Schools as we near the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Like many of you, I am personally reconciling the shift from a summer mindset to one of great anticipation and opportunity. I’m a lover of almost all things associated with school and look forward to engaging with each of you as we begin the 2022-2023 journey together.
Schools and departments are busy preparing for the start of the year. Leaders and staff are prioritizing learning environments that are safe, welcoming, and centered on the academic and social-emotional learning needs of all students. I’ve spent 13 years as a student and 30 years as an educator with the Lynden School District and have never felt more strongly about the importance of public education and our community’s collective responsibility of developing in each of our students a strong knowledge base and ability to think critically. Our students in today’s world also require the development of adaptive skillsets, healthy mindsets focused on growth, and strategies to respectfully engage in human-to-human interactions that honor and dignify diverse perspectives of others.
There is also a commitment to work in partnership with parents who we believe are a child’s first and most important educators. I want to encourage our families to engage meaningfully with an understanding of the essentialness of the role they have in leveraging the experiences of students in our schools and programs. We serve over 3400 students from three years old to twenty-one, and although we can’t be everything for everyone at all times, we can partner and support each family navigating the ups and downs of life’s journey through our schools. If they have not already done so, schools will soon be sending out important start-up information; we expect parents to participate.
On behalf of the staff members from across all levels of our organization, I want to welcome you to our schools and let you know how glad we are that you will be joining us on September 1st!
Lynden Schools Superintendent