Sunday, 01 August 2021

Ravenwoode: Offering appreciation to health, education officials

There are times we don’t recognize the hard work of people who provide government services for our benefit. It is time to do so.

I would like to thank two local government agencies (both management and staff) who have contributed to improved public health and educational services during our COVID-19 crisis.

First, the Lake County Department of Health under the leadership of our Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace. Then add to this the long hours of hard work by Health Department staff. As a result, Lake County residents have greatly benefited from the increased testing capacity in mid-2020, and the increased vaccine offerings, beginning in 2021.

These public health benefits did not “just happen.” They were the result of countless hours of department management efforts and a committed staff, to prioritize and accommodate the medical needs and safety of a rural community.

However, it is, unfortunately, true that Dr. Pace sometimes encountered (from a handful of people) verbal abuse for making difficult decisions. And there is a lesson here: Disagreeing itself is not the problem. But that expressing ourselves in a disrespectful manner is a needless choice. And we must remember: Our children are watching.

So thank you, Dr. Gary Pace. You (and county staff) have saved lives.

The second government agency that warrants a serious thank you is the Lake County Office of Education. Under the leadership of County Superintendent Brock Falkenberg (and his hard working, talented staff) there have been countless hours of meticulous planning on behalf of our students. Good educational administration is steadfast in helping our children, especially during a global pandemic.

Even as a resident, we may not personally observe the hard work and difficult decisions which must be made to ensure our children’s safety. During the pandemic, public school students must be fed and countless other unforeseen obstacles overcome.

In addition, the Lake County Office of Education staff has provided many hours of emotional support to parents and children. Our county superintendent has worked tirelessly with his staff, and all individual school district superintendents to protect our children and bring schools back into session.

So, yes, it is time to thank people who are not recognized for their commitment and perseverance in their respective fields, of public health and education.

Anna Rose Ravenwoode is a lifelong educator who lives in Kelseyville, California.


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