I am writing to express my support for the supplemental levy and to encourage others to vote yes for our kids and our community on March 12. My name is Rick Dalessio. I worked as a Bonner County educator for 26 years. I began my career as a science teacher at Priest River Junior High. I served as a principal in Priest River, Clark Fork and Sandpoint. I retired as principal of Lake Pend Oreille High School in 2013. I have truly observed firsthand the incredible progress the Lake Pend Oreille School District has achieved over the last 30 years.
When I first became a principal in the early 1990s, the district was struggling. Morale was at an all-time low. Teachers displayed and distributed bumper stickers reading, “Pray for Me, I Teach in Bonner County.”
So much has changed for the better. The school board and administration are stable, engaged and fiscally sound. Graduation rates and test scores are up. Every school in the district offers innovative programs and experiential learning opportunities.
The supplemental levy is a continuation of the instructional levies our community has passed every two years for the past 19 years. It funds 300 full- and part-time positions. It pays for all athletic and extracurricular activities, technology and curricular materials. It will also provide critical funding to bring our teachers’ salaries in line with those throughout our region. Excellent schools require excellent teachers.
I urge you to join me in voting “yes” on March 12.