We are, after all, NK
Susan Eriksen, a teacher in the NK Schools, weighs in on the state of the schools, in a letter to the editor in the Independent.
Given the almost constant din on social media and recent reporting in this newspaper, I awriting to offer a different perspective.
I am a parent of two North Kingstown High School students and a teacher in the district with over 20 years experience, 11 of those in North Kingstown. Every school in the district is open every day with administrators and teachers ready to greet students as they stream in from buses, sidewalks, and dropoffs. Classrooms are warm, welcoming, safe places with high quality educators ready to guide their charges through another day of teaching and learning. Custodians, healthcare workers, and support professionals round out the teams of individuals working to make schools hum.
After-school programs and extracurricular activities are in full swing. Music performances, visual art shows, and theatrical performances have all happened throughout the district and there is constant preparation for more. Athletics at the high school and middle schools are incredibly successful programs where coaches and athletes show up every day determined to make this season better than the last. Just this past Friday, the Davisville Middle School and Wickford Middle School girls and boys basketball teams competed at the high school. As I was leaving work for the day, the parking lot was filling up with parents and children on their way in to watch the competition. It didn’t feel chaotic. It felt exciting. The lights inside the high school welcomed the determined young people dedicated to performing their best.
The teachers in this district are some of the best in the state. You can ask teachers in other districts if they know a teacher from North Kingstown. In every discipline the answer will be, yes, because our teachers are active in their profession throughout the state and beyond in some cases. The same can be said for our coaches and building level administrators. Although some may transition out for other opportunities we always have retired professionals willing to step up for a time because they know the type of high quality education they will be helping to facilitate in this district. Any superintendent who is tapped to take the helm should consider themself fortunate to have a chance to skipper such a ship. We look forward to working with such an individual whether they stay for 10 months or 10 years. In the meantime, teachers, students, coaches and parents of this district will keep doing what we do. We are after all, NK.