It is with mixed emotions that I send this message to all of my team mates at Tribal Government.
I have accepted a new position as the Director of Heritage High School. My new responsibilities will start on July 19th; therefore, my last day as the Tribal Government General Manager will be July16th. The Board is now planning the process for selecting my replacement and will announce that by the end of June.
My advanced degree is in Education and education has always been my love. When I received my Masters degree, both my sister Cecile and I had dreams of being principals someday. Therefore, when the position at Heritage High School became open, presented an opportunity for me to use my skills to serve my community and to follow my dream. The leadership skills training and experience I have learned as your GM will allow me to be a part of the team to continue the vision of Heritage High being the school of excellence that will train the future leaders of our community. More importantly, the connections that I have made with each of you and the community will allow me help make Heritage a community school – one where the community is actively involved and dedicated to improving our youth’s education.
As I look back on these past four and a half years, there have indeed been many challenges: serving the ever-increasing number of Tribal members with little or no budget increases while also dealing with a global economic downturn; But by working together, we learned to do more with less and to raised the level of service in programs to our people. I thank you for the great work you do every day that gave us so many successes which include: consolidating a widely dispersed work force of nearly 300 to the administration building; construction of a multi-faceted cultural center which will be opening in the fall of this year; achieving new levels of performance with our annual performance-based budgets, performance plans and performance evaluations; improving our leadership and management skills through training and being team members who assist and support each other; and realignment of several departments to allow us to more effectively and efficiently serve our people.
I personally have been given many opportunities; I was privileged to represent the Tribe locally, statewide and nationwide. I was fortunate to personally witness growth in many of you as you took on the challenge of new positions or reinvented the ones you were in because you realized the importance of your work to our community. I watched you as you worked with our community and our team to give that hand up, not a hand out. I thank each of you for the lessons that you have shared with me and contributed to my growth as a leader and a person. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to learn, grow and develop relationships.
I thank our Tulalip Board of Directors for allowing me to serve the Tribal Government team members and our community. It was due to their support, guidance and caring that we were able to make changes, provide training and continue to grow as team members.
I thank my Executive Team. We faced many challenges together and have grown as a team. Each member was a piece of a whole, each of them brought their needed skills sets and ideas to the table so that we were balanced in making decisions not only for today, but also for our future generations.
Once again, I thank each of you for the work that you do every day. You are the ones who are making sure our Tribal members’ needs are met, while still planning for future generations.
As I mentioned at the outset, it is with mixed feelings that I leave. I will miss working with each of you every day. At the same time, I am very excited to be able to utilize all the knowledge I have gained to make our youth’s education a priority. I know that each of you will continue to keep up the great work!
This is not good-bye; I will still be seeing you in the community and may be working with some of you in my new position.
I will be seeing you!