I have been lucky enough to live in this community for most of my life. I started kindergarten at Long Beach Elementary, attended Hilltop and graduated from Ilwaco High School in 2003. I moved away to attend college and immediately returned home after earning my bachelor degree in 2007. Since that time my husband and I have invested our lives back into this community and are thoroughly enjoying raising our two children here.

There is an enormous sense of pride attached to raising our kids in the same community that raised us. Our children are now growing up alongside the kids of many of our classmates and we see familiar faces at every event we attend. We support each other during challenging times and celebrate each other’s successes. The Peninsula is small, but the amount of love here is huge. This isn’t just a place to live, it is family. Our kids attend Ocean Beach School District alongside their cousins, neighbors, and friends. My sister is a teacher at Hilltop. My cousin’s husband is a teacher at Ilwaco High School along with my next-door neighbor. There are staff members of this district that have shaped my life and have known our family for generations. They aren’t just students or employees; they are family and friends.

These are the people that we are trying to protect by passing this capital levy. The safety and security of our schools should be one of our absolute highest priorities. Supporting a levy that will better protect our students and staff is an easy decision for me and I hope it is for you as well. Please vote yes by April 23.

MICHELLE BINION

Ilwaco

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