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Time to take action

Thanks to all the people who supported me this past year as the principal at Artz-Fox Elementary, and continue to support me during my appeal process. The parents, students, community members and staff who rallied for me were much appreciated and made an impact with the superintendent and the Mabton School Board.

I look forward to my appeal hearing which, unfortunately has been postponed until Jan. 30, 2006. This is a public hearing and will take place at the Mabton School District Board Room. I am anxious for all the issues to be brought forward and reviewed by the hearing officer and our community. I invite you all to attend so that you have a better understanding of the issues facing the Mabton School District and their resolve to non-renew me and get a new principal at Artz-Fox Elementary School. I have built my reputation on my commitment to students and their families and I trust that this commitment has led me to make the best decisions for the children of Mabton.

I am unaccustomed to starting the school year at home and my family and I miss the children and community of Mabton. Our kids will be attending the Grandview School District this fall. My family lives just outside of Mabton so I will continue to see some of you from time to time. Please be sure to say hello. I would love to speak with you.

I want to thank Rachael Ruelas, Sandra Alaniz, their families, and many other community members for the time and effort they have contributed to holding the school district accountable for their actions. I encourage all parents to continue to ask the district to be responsive and open in their actions and communications with the community.

Having a nearly 50 percent dropout rate and low test scores is not good enough for our children. You have the right and the obligation to ask for better from our school superintendent and its teachers and I hope we all have the courage to continue to do so. It is time for all of us to get up and take action ... for the sake of our children! We can start by voting in the general election. Please take the time to fill out your ballot and mail it in. Thanks again!

/s/ Fabian Castilleja, Mabton

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