Hundreds of Renton teens are waking up this morning after one of the most exciting days and nights of their lives – high school graduation.
OK, maybe some of them will wake up this afternoon. But the sentiment is the same, following Friday’s day of commencements.
For them, it’s the end of 12 years (and maybe 13, if they went to kindergarten) of education that will lead to a college career or directly to work.
They stand atop the shoulders of all the teachers, parents and just everyday folks who in one way or another have supported them for all those years.
The successes they celebrated this week at Hazen, Lindbergh, Renton and Black River, and next, at Sartori Education Center, are rightly shared by most everyone in the community.
That community support was most evident this year at the polling places or by placing a stamp on that mail-in ballot. Renton’s voters approved three important ballot measures, including a levy to continue paying for routine maintenance and operations of schools and one to improve the district’s technology and training.
And, significantly, although it took two tries, the district’s voters approved a $150 million bond measure that will go to building a new early childhood center, adding classrooms and making other much-needed improvements to a number of schools.
I like the description that district spokesman Randy Matheson gave to the victory a second time around. He called it a “landslide.” Now, someone might say that’s not the case, that the bond passed with just 62 percent of the “yes” vote. Under our state’s unfair rules for such school bonds, a minimum “yes” vote of 60 percent is needed.
But I am not considering that 2 percent, although it might feel like a landslide for those who fought long and hard to win passage.
There was a landslide of support for that bond. Sixty-two percent of the voters in the school district voted yes. Consider that candidates win with a simple majority – 50 percent – and most measures to raise property taxes also require a simple majority – 50 percent.
Yup, 62 percent is a landslide by any measure.
The projects the bond will build will benefit Renton’s students for class after class to come, just like levies and bonds approved in the past helped today’s graduates write their own success stories.
Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at email@example.com.
The Renton Reporter would like to share with our readers photos that the graduates and their friends and family took at the commencements on Friday. Please e-mail a photo, with the names of those in the photo and the high school, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also include the name of the photographer. We’ll run as many as possible in an upcoming issue of the paper.