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I read with interest the letter to the editor from Meeker High School Principal Dr. Kim Ibach in last week’s edition of the Herald Times.
My first impression and question was “Why would anyone, by their actions or statements, have the audacity and temerity to make it necessary for Dr. Ibach to have to respond publicly in such a way? As a member of the MHS Accountability Committee, I had the honor to serve on the selection committee when Dr. Ibach was interviewed for her position, and I can state without reservation that she is by far the most exceptionally capable and highly qualified educator selected as a principal for Meeker High School that I have ever known.
I believe that impression was shared by most if not all of the other panelists. It is highly unusual to have an administrator with a doctorate in education serving in such a capacity in a small rural school.
Such highly qualified professionals often are sought by much larger and more lucrative schools, and Dr. Ibach could easily be selected for many prestigious positions, if she chose to seek them.
Moreover, since Dr. Ibach has been serving as principal, I have found her to be a strong advocate for the students. As a quintessential cheerleader for her students, she is tirelessly and creatively devoted first and foremost to their needs, concerns and best interests.
She is very proactive and supportive of performing and fine arts programs that are shown to have a direct impact on improved academic skills and proficiency. This has not always been the case.
Dr. Ibach is always present for school activities and constantly involved in the many essential administrative duties. Moreover, she is intensely involved in a results-based approach to teaching and learning for each student, and her enthusiasm is contagious for all with whom she works and impacts.
It was highly serendipitous that in 2013, the Meeker School District and the students, teachers, faculty and staff had the great fortune to be served by the selection of both Dr. Ibach as MHS principal and by Superintendent Mark Meyer. These two professional and eminently qualified educators have responded extraordinarily well and in a very short time to very daunting tasks, despite serious challenges of school finance and a shortage of faculty and staff, due to ongoing budget reductions. Every effort must be made to ensure that the district retains and supports such capable professionals to keep the momentum going.
In early 2013, a community consortium of residents from many disciplines and backgrounds met with school district officials and faculty to develop a strategic master plan for the direction of the district. Over a period of many weeks, this plan was modified and refined to a point where an extraordinarily well-conceived document with an implementation schedule was produced. Many of the concepts are already being implemented and planning for future goals are under way.
However, the financial crisis is not yet resolved and will require the support, dedication and participation of the entire community to effectively utilize the resources and contributions of us all if it is to succeed. The future of our most valuable and important students is largely dependent on the actions and creativity that we, by working together, can provide, and they certainly deserve the best that is humanly possible.
It is often said that “If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.” Let us all pull together to individually and collectively do everything possible to be a part of optimal solutions for our school district and most of all for our students
An old adage suggests that “It takes an entire village to raise a child.” And so it does. Share your praise and appreciation with teachers, faculty, administrators, staff and, most of all, your students. Then volunteer to help in any way you can!
MHS Class of 1961