The purpose of this letter is to inform our community of a change of status between Julie and I and Learning Bridge Charter School. Julie terminated her board position during a Learning Bridge Board meeting held on June 9, 2020. This ends an exciting and rewarding ten years of service. We will desperately miss our teachers, aides, volunteers, parents, and most of all, our kids!
In 2017, Julie made the first contact with USDA to inquire about possible funding for a new school building. She and I were on the building committee from the beginning until her resignation in June. The current Learning Bridge Board and Administration have recently opened that building. In addition they have chosen many changes to the programs, educational concepts and school climate. We wish them continued success.
Julie and I made Ely our home in 1969. We found White Pine County to be a perfect place to raise our children. We received overwhelming support during our 51 years here.
In 2011, Julie organized a group of citizens to bring a school of choice, a charter school, to White Pine County. She felt that a charter school would be a quality addition to the wonderful education system already here. It’s existence would help make Ely a more desirable place: many people were considering a move to White Pine County to become part of a huge mining boom.
The members of the Committee to Form and the first board came from various walks of life. These founders and founding board members after several years of intense work, were successful. The school opened in 2013. Julie served as President of the School Board, board member, community liaison, teacher, mentor and volunteer. I worked with the Shoshone Tribe to convert their building to school standards and then served as band director, principal and volunteer.
The Founders’ vision was to establish a school guided by many concepts: open communication with all stakeholders, that all children learn differently, that all teachers teach differently, that all childrenareimportant,equalandvalued. Schoolstaffmemberswerethemostvaluableassets of the school and were to be rewarded and respected as such. Classes were never to exceed 20 students. Parents were to be included in setting school goals and decision making. They were perhaps the greatest stakeholders in the school. It would be the administration and board’s duty to ensure that all stakeholders would work in harmony and ensure a transparent and cohesive approach to achieving the goals of the school. The school’s progress was to be frequently shared with the community. The school would be driven by transparency, honesty
and integrity. The school was to become an attractive asset to those seeking to relocate here.
The Shoshone Tribal Council’s support was critical in Learning Bridge’s success: without the lease of their building in 2013 there would have been no school. Assemblyman Goicoechea, Mayor Hickman and the Ely City Council were very encouraging. The Ely Times, KDSS, Ely’s Building, Fire and Sheriff’s Departments helped guide our efforts. Core Construction used our local contractors wherever possible. Their expertise and professionalism brought us to a very suitable approved educational facility, always knowing that the founders’ forward plan was to build their own building.
Julie and I will never forget the overwhelming community response given to Learning Bridge. Individuals and our business community were extraordinarily encouraging and gave fabulous support to the kids’ citizenship and academic efforts. Staff worked together to assure their best efforts. Learning Bridge earned the highest ratings given by the Nevada Department of Education.
Learning Bridge was a very warm HAPPY family- we will miss that.