Community Letter

June 18, 2021

District Update from our Superintendent, Dr. Carl Bruner

Welcome to the end of 2020/21 - a school year that will be remembered forever by families, staff, and students as one full of challenges and frustrations interspersed with unexpected learnings and bright spots.

In addition to graduation, the final days of the school year are filled with celebrations marking student transitions from kindergarten to 1st grade, elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school. It’s been fun to participate in the traditions the Lopez School community has developed around these events over the years. They have been meaningful, uplifting, and full of heart-felt messages of respect, hope, and encouragement. LISD educators clearly care deeply for your young people.

Thanks for your patience as we have worked to finalize the school calendar for 2021-22. The final version is going to the school board for approval next Wednesday, June 23. Following School Board action, it will be posted on our website. Please check the District website in August for any updates on the plans for safely returning to full time in person learning. We expect updated guidelines for schools from the state Department of Health as the new academic year approaches.

I’d like to close by thanking you for the privilege of serving LISD and your students over the past 6 months. It’s been a truly enriching experience; one that I will not forget.

For all the challenges, the District offers a committed and talented staff who provide a wide range of valuable and unique educational opportunities. This wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of your generous and caring community and the leadership of a talented and dedicated School Board.

Determining a path forward once federal COVID relief funds have expired will take careful thought and planning over the coming months. Student enrollment and legislative relief are the key to sustaining the programs that the community has come to expect and students deserve.

I wish you and your families all the best in the coming years. For now, have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Carl Bruner, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent

In Gratitude

This year, we recognize a few retiring LISD staff members for their years of service to Lopez Island School District and to the children of Lopez Island.

  • Ann Marie Fischer, Parent Partner Teacher
  • Lisa Geddes, Spanish and EL Teacher
  • Susan Savage, Elementary Para-educator
  • Valerie Yukluk, Elementary Para-educator
  • Nina Gartland, Special Education Teacher

Also, we have a few staff members who were with us for just the 20-21 school year, and we are incredibly appreciative of their great work:

  • Jed Lubin, Social Studies Teacher
  • Arielle Ott, Spanish and EL Teacher
  • Eden Zillioux, Elementary Teacher

In addition, we are incredibly grateful for Dr. Carl Bruner for serving LISD as our Interim Superintendent since January. Carl has been such a gift to our district and we are so grateful that he was up for the challenge of an interim position with LISD.

Summer Reading Challenge

It's time for the summer reading challenge at the Lopez Library!

We have fun and rewarding prompts to get or keep you and your family reading all summer long. There are two options for take-home reading challenges--a book bingo (geared towards adults and teen readers) and a reading log sheet (intended for younger readers, but available to anyone who wants to just keep track of what they read this summer--and do some coloring too). You can get a copy of the challenge sheets at the Lopez Library next time you're in the building, or download and print your copies at home by following the links at All participants will receive prizes when they turn in their sheets at the end of the summer. The reading challenge goes from June 14 - August 31st. Please feel free to get in touch with Lopez Library staff for book recommendations, and stop by the library to see relevant summer book displays. We love helping you find your next great read!

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Secondary Update from Principal, Dr. Martha Martin

Hello Secondary Families,

There is a celebratory feeling in the halls today. We did it! The kids, the staff, and YOU....we all made it through this very strange school year, and we are finishing strong!

Yesterday, in our secondary staff meeting, each of us shared one success from the year, one thing we learned, and one thing we look forward to. Most of the success stories were about digging deeper into our reservoirs of resilience, perseverance, and creative problem solving. Many of the lessons learned were about finding out who we are as educators and humans in the face of a difficult and ever changing context. More than anything, the theme of what we look forward to this summer is spending time in the natural world...and taking some deep breaths.

I'm so proud of our students our staff, and our LISD families. This year has been a wild ride of twists and turns, and we made it to this day together. Thank you for your grace and patience as I navigated my first full school year with LISD and have FINALLY started to get to know the students I serve. I'm incredibly grateful for your support and your feedback, and so very glad that Paul and I made the move the Lopez Island. I'm already looking forward to next year!

With loads of appreciation,


Congratulations to the Class of 2021

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Community Pride March Planned by our GSA!

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Congratulations to the Class of 2025 on their 8th grade graduation!

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Elementary Update from Principal, Mary Fordham

Dear Family Lopez Lobos,

We made it to our final day of the 2020-21 school year and we did it with a strong finish. Thank you to our families who partnered with us in teaching your children. This was a year for new learning in many ways for our staff and we appreciate your patience as we navigated these uncharted territories. We really could not have done it without your support.

This week was a week for celebrating before embarking into summer fun...

Field Day - A huge thank you to Sarah Rabel for organizing the field days this week. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather and excellent volunteers to host the games. More importantly, all the students and staff had a fantastic time and they are already excited about next year's field day. Check out a few photos below from the events.

Fifth Grade Promotion - On Thursday, we promoted our fifth graders to middle school with a memorable ceremony organized by their teachers, Becca Hamilton and Lorri Swanson. The ceremony was followed by a beautiful reception in the Rishi Center, which was organized by several fifth grade parents. We are so proud of our fifth graders and what they have accomplished this year. Congratulations to our fifth grade class... Class of 2028!

We are excited to announce our new line-up of teachers for elementary:

  • Kindergarten - Kendra Lewis
  • 1st Grade - Megan Ramsey
  • 2nd Grade - Open Position
  • 3rd Grade - Brian Goff
  • 4th Grade - Lorri Swanson
  • 5th Grade - Becca Hamilton
  • Special Education - Open Position

Thank you again families for your partnership to make this the best year we could for our students. Enjoy your summer break and we'll see you in September!

With Lobo Love,


Parent Partner Program Appreciation from Rachel Post

Huge thanks to all the Parent Partner Families for your joy, amazing grit and grace through this challenging year! Thanks for including me in your journey!

Lopez Island School District

Carl Bruner, Interim Superintendent

Martha Martin, Secondary Principal

Mary Fordham, Interim Elementary Principal

The Lopez Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Interim Superintendent –, Title IX Coordinator, HR Specialist Renee Koplan –, Section 504, Interim Elementary Principal –, OR contact by phone, 360-468-2202, OR mail to 86 School Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261.