School administrator meets with members of Congress in DC | Community

Majalise Tolan, secondary principal of the Lincoln County School District, recently met with other school administrators from the Oregon Coalition and Senator Jeff Merkley, Representative Kurt Schrader, Representative Cliff Bentz and Representative Suzanne Bonamici in the Capitol building in Washington, DC to ask for resources to address the twin crises of student mental health and the shortage of educators.

The meeting was part of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Annual Advocacy Conference and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) National Leadership Conference, which brought together 350 school leaders to meet with more than 200 members of Congress and their staff as they finalize the federal education budget for fiscal year 2022.

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to share with lawmakers the mental health needs of students and educators, as well as the growing concerns about our pipeline of educators,” Tolan said. “The shortage of educators is felt across the country, and Lincoln County is no exception. It is important that our legislators hear the direct examples from the coast and how rural Oregon has been impacted not only by the shortage of educators, but also by the lack of access to mental health resources. It was also nice to be able to share with Rep. Schrader the ongoing partnership and progress with the Port of Toledo, Oregon Coast Community College and the Lincoln County School District.

NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe said, “To better serve our students, our elected officials must learn from the educators who actually lead our schools. These incredible educators know what works in their respective communities, and we should use their hard-won knowledge to guide us on the way forward.

Martha K. Merrill