After the calamity that has been the last few weeks, I think it is important to recognize the hard work and effort that folks in our community have been engaged in, and thank some key partners in the relative success we have had in opening and keeping the school running. Many people have played a role in the effort and we thank all of you for the support!

First, our maintenance staff responded instantly to the snowstorm. They began plugging in generators to freezers and clearing snow and limbs even before the snow had stopped. They have been a key component in strategizing, coordinating and implementing every service that is available. Without them, we would be sitting at home. They deserve a huge thank you!

The Elkton School Board must be thanked for allowing the immediate authorization of emergency power via the generators that you see in front of the buildings. Once we realized the scope of the situation we were facing, Brian Kruse reached out to United Rentals and Lighthouse Electric to size, order and deliver the units. Without them, there would be no school and the Red Cross Shelter would not be operating. Thank You Board and Thank You Brian for getting this done! It is a massive financial commitment as the generators are expensive to run and keep fueled. The District will be looking for ways to be reimbursed for these costs. In the meantime, the sound financial planning the board has engaged in and the commitment to keeping our facilities updated and ready is paying off.

Equally important has been the City of Elkton. With the help of some County resources, they were able to get the sewer and water plants up and running. This was a key component in being able to operate our schools. They have spent many hours on the phone coordinating and advocating for all of us. This work is sometimes frustrating, but it continues. Thank you all for the long hours and commitment to the citizens that live here and the students who attend our schools!

Our County officials deserve huge Thanks for delivering on several fronts. From generators to run the water and sewer plants to coordinating through the Emergency Operations Center for the Red Cross and other services, the County has been an advocate for our community. Specifically, I would like to thank Chris Boice for his efforts to coordinate and deliver services. I would also like to thank Sheriff Hanlin for responding quickly and the entire Sheriff’s department for the support they have provided.

Our teachers and staff, many of whom do not have power, deserve a Thank You. Getting school up and running is one thing. Asking folks to not only take care of their own homes, but also come back to work is another. Not once did I hear any complaints from any of them. They found ways to shower, they took care of their business and they came to work to serve our children. Yes, it is their job, but it is far more than that. It is reflected in the compassion and patience that they have shown each other and our kids. We have the best staff, certified and classified in the State of Oregon. Thank you all for being flexible and kind enough to go with the flow. It does not go unnoticed!

We have received several large financial donations from local and state philanthropic organizations. Thank you to the Ford family Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation for fast tracking our emergency applications for funding and getting funds to us so quickly. These funds are critical to meet the immediate needs of operations and we are very grateful!

The Red Cross deserves our gratitude as well! They mobilized quickly to establish the shelter and have been providing meals, comfort and supervision of the facility. What a difference it has made to have hot showers and food available. A huge positive that has come from having the Shelter has been the ability for our community to gather for dinner. Being together in a time like this has been a blessing. The Baptist Church also housed and warmed people and we are grateful to them for opening so quickly to provide the service!

I would like to recognize all of the businesses in town that are taking a massive financial hit from this situation. Know that we are thinking about you and will be ready to support you when the doors re-open!

We are a long ways away from being through this event. Efforts will continue to restore power and get people back into their homes. Through it all, the common thread has been the tenacity and perseverance of our community. We have taken care of each other and we have been strong in the face of adversity. Thanks for being part of a community that cares and is compassionate. We will do our best as a school to continue this high standard.

Andy Boe
Elkton School District

Choose to care. What I do matters. Find a way or make one. Work hard.  Be nice. Every child, Every day. Never give up. Do what is right. Every minute counts. Provide hope. Whatever it takes…