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Letter to the Editor: Leaving a school district in good hands

When my wife and I moved to Williams in 2015, we weren't only moving for our new jobs, but moving for a place to live and retire. Williams Unified School District (WUSD) had some rough years before that time and was going through staff and administrators regularly.

What I found in the staff was a desire to excel with plenty of dedication and work ethic. What I found in the families was a desire for their kids to have opportunity in school. So WUSD was an exciting place to work with plenty of opportunity for accomplishment.

I can measure the successes we've had during that time in things like school grades, satisfaction surveys, and the increase in participation and success in our academic, vocational, and athletics/clubs. But what I am most proud of bringing to WUSD isn't so easily measured, but can be described in words like pride, respect, ownership, responsibility, belonging and acceptance.

One thing that puzzled me when I was hired was why the district was looking outside for its administrators. That's one thing I wanted to cure. There are good, qualified, hard working, dedicated people right here in Williams and I wanted to give them the opportunity to move up in their own district.

We have many staff in place right now that moved up through our system and they are very competent. They are deeply committed to the district and community. With this environment, new people are accepted and encouraged to take part in that ownership. We always use words like "us," "we," and "ours."

It was time for me to resign in mid-November, as the board and I were not getting past our differences. But I can assure you that WUSD is filled with competent people that will get through these tough times. That includes the office staff, bus drivers, maintenance, custodial, financial, HR, and of course the people that work directly with kids in the classroom. Respect them and appreciate them...they have earned it.

As far as my wife and I, we are enjoying our grandkids nearby. We enjoy living here in Williams and I can't fathom a better place to live in my retirement. So I will see you around town, at least more so when we all get past this COVID issue.

Thank you for all the opportunity and success that I have experienced here in Williams.

Rick Honsinger

Former superintendent

Williams Unified School District

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