Eric Runez has been the Whitewater Unified School District’s administrator since 2011 (and immediately before that was the principal at Whitewater Middle School). He’s now given notice that he’ll be leaving that position for a superintendent’s post in the DeForest School District. Many school administrators serve in more than one district during their careers. One can and should be appreciative that Mr. Runez has assured fundamentally even-keeled conditions where many other districts have faced strife not merely over large matters, but (wastefully) over small ones, too.
Whitewater is a beautiful place, but neither the city proper nor its surrounding towns are always easy places. Our district has fared better than others these last several years, in this significant regard, and that alone is a commendable feat.
We have a district that – being the combination of different cities and towns – offers advantages but also challenges not present in more homogeneous communities. Although many other districts are composed of several towns, Whitewater’s distinction is that her district’s largest city is a college town. The divide between Whitewater and surrounding communities might easily have become wide; we’ve fortunately not had that experience.
Even apart from challenging fiscal conditions shared with many school districts, we have avoided a community versus community battle within the borders of this unified district, at a time when less demographically diverse schools have seen residents at loggerheads over any number of controversies.
Every district will face ideological questions and divides, but these have been relatively harmonious times for us. We would certainly benefit by a continuation of that atmosphere.
One wishes Mr. Runez the best, hoping that he finds good days ahead, and that we, here, have the same.
(About the picture for this series – it’s a screenshot of a calculator app for Android phones that emulates a Hewlett Packard 33C. I used an HP calculator in school, and they were amazing machines. My phone’s calculator app pays tribute to a fine machine of yore.)