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To the Editor:

To the voters of the Philomath School District: Thank you.

As of Tuesday night, Measure 2-137, the district’s local option levy renewal, was passing with 72% of the vote. This will secure millions of dollars in funding for K-12 education programs here over the next five years — programs that keep students engaged in school, on track to graduate and set them up for success after graduation.

Philomath means “lover of learning,” and I am always humbled by the way our community lives up to that name. We have a lot to be proud of with our Philomath Schools — test scores and graduation rates that beat state averages and are above our neighboring districts, championship athletic teams, award-winning performing arts, and excellent career and technical programs.

Our students, staff and administrators deserve enormous credit for making our schools the incredible places that they are — but the folks who make them truly special are you, our Philomath community. You volunteer in our classrooms, you cheer on our athletes and our artists, and you commit to investing in the continued success of our students. You make our schools the lifeblood of this town. We quite literally could not do this without you.

As a recent K-12 graduate of the Philomath School District, I know how important the programs supported by the levy are. They quite literally changed my life and turned me into the person I am today, giving me the skills and confidence I needed for success. During the times when I was struggling the most and doubting my ability to succeed, programs like band, choir, filmmaking, forestry, student government and team sports gave me the motivation to power through. I am so grateful that students will continue to have those opportunities (and many more) for years to come.

So, I’ll say it again: Thank you. Your commitment to our schools makes our entire community a better place. We don’t take your support for granted and we will continue to work every day to give our students the incredible futures they deserve with the support you’ve given us.

Christopher McMorran