Moving to La Conner, new to the community, starting work July 1st, in charge of the entire operation, a chance to channel 25 years of training, experience, past successes into practice as the chief executive office, what a rare opportunity. Dr. Whitney Meissner is happy as a clam to be the new superintendent of the La Conner School District. Ask her. She has an open door policy, and it’s not just for faculty, staff, students, and parents. She wants to hear from the community. Take her up on it. Speaking with her, you will hear her champion equity in the classroom, in the schools, in the district. She is committed to social and emotional learning and student centered learning. These are not today’s buzz words, but a framework for every child maturing and achieving. This reflects Meissner’s values, philosophy, training and experience. This is her hope for the future, to be realized with the cooperation – collaborative effort is her term – of students and parents, faculty and staff and the greater La Conner community. Long ago, a professor in graduate school, discussing a new faculty hire, said “assume competency and go for personality.” Meissner’s track record and the district’s board of directors brought her to this position. She is more than competent. And she has more than enthusiasm and an eagerness to engage. Her values are stellar. The ones this paper especially appreciate are her commitment to democracy and her engaging students in the democratic process. That means she has two more values: courage and trust. She has the courage, borne of her experience, to trust her students. She has the courage to let her students take chances with the unknown and she trusts them, their parents, her faculty and the larger community to be courageous, too. For living in a democratic society means mistakes and errors are ongoing. It is our response to them that is meaningful. It is how we wrestle completed projects through the messiness of hands-on involvement with the real issues of life that is important. It is how we progress. That is the learning process. I am glad Dr. Meissner is at the helm to steer our children through their perilous paths to their futures.