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Superintendent Rundle Message On End of School Year and June Celebrations and Events

Superintendent Rundle Message On End of School Year and June Celebrations and Events
Fred Rundle
Superintendent Rundle Speaks To Class of 2024 from stage of Benaroya Hall

Dear Mercer Island Community,

Endings and beginnings. Navigating all of these conclusions and commencements this time of year certainly sparks some poignant emotions. Part of me is energized by the stories of success, accomplishment, and joy, but at the same time saying goodbye to graduates and colleagues as well as reflecting on where I fell short is challenging. However, what I feel most right now, especially following graduation last Saturday at Benaroya Hall, is pride and appreciation. I am proud to serve a school district with such amazing students and appreciative of the staff, parents, and community who understand the profound impact we can have on our students when we work together. The sadness of the endings is offset by the lasting impact those who are leaving have had and the hope I possess for the future with these students today and leaders tomorrow.

Mr. Richard, a middle school custodian from Indiana, recently appeared on America's Got Talent. His story embodies what it means to be an educator and the greatness of education. The rendition of the song he performed, Don’t Stop Believin', not only shocked the judges and audience, but it spoke to the importance of instilling hope and belief in our students.

Bob Hanson, 38-year veteran custodian at Lakeridge, will retire at the end of this school year. I had the privilege to work alongside Bob during my four years at Lakeridge, watching him care for the building as if it was his own, students as if they were his kids, and parents and colleagues like family. During a surprise assembly this week in his honor, the continuous chant from the students, “Mr. Bob! Mr. Bob! Mr. Bob!” reminded me the difference we can all make in the lives of our students. Mr. Bob, just like our other retirees this year and Mr. Richard in Indiana, made our schools and community a better place.  

Last year, we emphasized broadcasting student voice, and this year, we focused on creating a deep sense of belonging in our schools. This work does not end. Next year we will add an emphasis on ensuring our students know we believe in their limitless potential and they, too, share this same belief about themselves. Students stand to benefit academically, socially, and emotionally when they know we are behind them.  

Pride In The Park Poster

Finally, as we head off for the summer, our team will continue giving thought and consideration to the role cell phones play in the lives of our students. Informally, we initiated conversations with groups of parents, staff, and students. We believe that this topic requires attention and the community can expect more information both as we return in August and throughout the fall.

June Celebrations and Events

Pride Month
As we celebrate Pride Month this June, we take the opportunity to honor the history and significance of this important time. Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, and celebrates the progress made towards equality and acceptance. Within our schools, we recognize the importance of fostering a sense of belonging for all students, staff, and families. Our commitment is to create an inclusive environment where every individual feels valued and respected. By embracing diversity, we not only enrich our educational community but also empower every student to reach their full potential. Let us stand together in support of our LGBTQ+ community, ensuring that our schools are safe, welcoming spaces for everyone.

Pride in the Park - Join members from our community this Saturday, June 15 at Mercerdale Park from 2-5pm.

Eid Al-Adha - June 16 and 17
We recognize and celebrate Eid Al-Adha, observed this year on the 16th and 17th. Eid Al-Adha, also known as the "Festival of Sacrifice," is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, a story shared by many faiths. For our Muslim students, staff, and families, this is a time of prayer, reflection, and community. As we acknowledge this significant celebration, we extend our best wishes to all who observe Eid Al-Adha. May it be a time of peace, joy, and togetherness.

Juneteenth Poster

Juneteenth - June 19th
This June, we also come together to commemorate Juneteenth, a significant day in our nation's history. Juneteenth marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in 1865, a pivotal moment in the ongoing journey towards equality and justice. As an educational community, we recognize the importance of understanding and honoring this history, while fostering a culture of inclusion and respect. Along with Pride Month, honoring Juneteenth solidifies our commitment to ensure that every student, staff member, and family feels a profound sense of belonging and value within our schools. Let us join in recognizing Juneteenth, reaffirming our dedication to equity and unity in our schools.

Juneteenth Celebration - The MIHS Black Student Union, for the second straight year, will host Mercer Island’s Juneteenth celebration from 12-4pm on June 19 at Mercerdale Park.

For now, we bid farewell to our seniors and those leaving the community and district for new adventures and set our sights on the incoming kindergarteners and those joining us as new students and families. Enjoy your summers and I will see you in August!

Sincerely, 

Fred Rundle

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