Editor, Index-Tribune:

I am writing this letter to many people in Sonoma: teachers, administrators, foundation employees and the Sonoma Index-Tribune. I have three kids in our Sonoma public schools, a senior and a sophomore at Sonoma Valley High, and an eighth-grader at Altimira Middle School.

I want to thank everyone who works in our local public school system. I have been delighted with the quality of education and the sincere care that the teachers and administrators have shown my kids. In the face of so many budgetary and other challenges, I sing high praises for your dedication.

I know that I share this feeling with other parents, that our kids are the most precious people in our lives. We send them out to you, trust you with their minds and hearts, and for that I will always be profoundly grateful. I cannot begin to name all of the teachers who have impacted my kids, so I am going to name only one, and that is kindergarten teacher Kim Tomasello at Sassarini Elementary School.

The year 2001 was her first year as a teacher, and that was my first child’s first year of school. At kindergarten graduation, Kim could hardly get through her talk without tears, and thanked us parents for trusting our kids with her teaching and guidance. Indeed, none of the adults in the room had dry eyes.

So, I am on the end of the public school spectrum with my senior. I am so very happy for these years of school for her in Sonoma, although I must admit that I am very sad that it has come to an end. This is the first time for this mom to have one bird perched on the side of the nest, about to fly.

But above all, I am certain that her wings would not be so ready and strong if it were not for the Sonoma Valley public schools. I will miss her, as I will miss all of them, when they go, but you have made them ready.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Allyson Etherington