The Education Crisis: Support for Mark Telles and Send a Message Night

Cynthia Bolls, guest opinion

Bleary-eyed, before coffee, I drove my two children down to the bus stop this morning. Living in a rural area, my kids ride 40 miles each day for their education since the local school closed five years ago.

Waiting for them, instead of our little second-hand school bus, was our principal/superintendent Mark Telles. I was not totally surprised to see him as he occasionally takes on the duty of picking up some Lakehead kids when the bus driver is ill.

He picks them up in his own car on his way to work at Castle Rock Elementary School, which is a 100 mile commute that he makes every day. He was bright-eyed and happy to greet the kids as they piled in.

Mr. Telles is a blessing that came to our small school in Castella three years ago. In those three years, I have rarely seen this man negative or frustrated in any way. He brings a light and a sense of empowerment to the kids, staff and families of this community, encouraging each and every one of us and letting us know that we all can make a difference in this world.

Like I said, I have never seen Mark frustrated until this year.

Until he had to tell amazing teachers that their jobs would not be there next year. Until he had to look a kid in the eyes and tell them that the music program that we had to cut last year would not be coming back.

Until he had to tell a parent that everything that we have worked for to make Castle Rock Elementary an amazing learning environment could be gone next year.

Yes, this year Mr. Telles is angry. The “big money and power-hungry administrator” that works 12 hour days, that goes to every sporting and special school event, that teaches boys how to become men in a special class just for them, that personally writes articles about school happenings for the local paper weekly, that spends who-knows how much of his own money to make sure that no child is left out of a special event, that lets the kids tape him to a wall for two hours because they excelled at STAR testing, this year is angry.

He is angry because he is left feeling powerless in the huge bureaucracy that is the government now in charge of funding (or shall I say not funding) the education for the kids that are our future.

He organized and implemented Send a Message Night in order to amplify one voice into many. After a very informative meeting about the state of the budget and what is to come, many of the parents of the school community wrote letters to our legislators and representatives urging them to address the education crisis in California.

Mr. Telles then personally delivered them to Sacramento. One David bravely going up against a Goliath. One man taking the first steps that we are all needing to take.

We are not too small to stand up to this Goliath of a government. We The People choose to make things happen. We The People choose to make a difference. We The People are mad and need to stand up for our children.

After all, our children are the ones that will be left with our legacy — what we did or did not do.

Head up a Send a Message Night at your school. Go to www.castlerockschool.net for everything that you need to help your voice be heard.