Superintendent Message - September 2019

Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

Red Rover Red Rover – Send the School Year Right Over

One of my favorite recess games as a kid was Red Rover. Some of you may remember playing this game, but for those who aren’t familiar with it, the object was to form two teams in two lines, lock hands, and do everything you could to keep the person who would be “called over” from the other team from running through the line and breaking the hands apart.

It was a great day on the playground when we got to play Red Rover and an even better day when I got to be team captain and could choose the people who would be part of my lineup.   

I would carefully scout the group of eligible players to determine who would be the best at fearlessly holding the line, braving the oncoming runner as they made their best attempt to break through the bond of hands and arms that attempted to hold them back.

My choices would often be for those kids who were physically strong and could simply not let go – while other choices would be about kids who had bravery and tenacity and the ability to withstand multiple runners trying to cross the line. 

A successful Red Rover team also had to have great determination to win – to face the adversity of the game with the mindset of staying the course until a victory was won, no matter how tough the opponent was.

The team who kept the runners from breaking through would add them to the team, strengthening the line with each failed attempt. The other team would lose the runner, weakening the line until the point that everyone was essentially on one team. 

Red Rover can teach us a lot about what it takes for a school district to be successful.   Our goal is to form a team that collectively locks hands to make sure that no student slips through the line. Adversity and challenges run at us in many forms – truancy, substance abuse, mental health needs, homelessness, and learning challenges just to name a few. As each challenge comes at us, we must be more determined than ever to make sure we don’t loosen our grip for even one second.

Lake Washington has an amazing team of people lined up to meet the year together - staff members, families, and community supporters who want to make sure every child is successful. We have a strategic plan – ELEVATE – to guide the work moving forward. And as we connect strong hands and hearts around the purpose of our work – Every Student Future Ready - the line becomes unbreakable! 


Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent