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Despite being sick with COVID I didn't want to pass down an opportunity to speak tonight in support of the New Highland and RISE merger. I believe this merger is better for the Highland neighborhood community, its students, and the educators that serve this community. Though this work still continues, I've already witnessed how this merger has allowed for better teacher collaboration, the pooling of resources, and the expansion of services for students. Because we've been working on merging since 2020, we've been able to be thoughtful and reflective in the process, engaging the community, students, and educators so even though our community has gotten bigger, it feels like we've grown a lot closer. Please vote tonight in support of our merge and our new name! We are ready to be the Highland Community School dragons!