Letter to the editor – Hannah Sheridan

To the Editor:

In the fall of 2017, my husband and I became parents to our very first pre-kindergartener. It marked the beginning of a journey, and for the next 15 years, my husband and I will be a part of this school system. Unfortunately, our beginning was a rocky one. This past fall, our daughter Lily and her 4-year-old classmates did not have a classroom to call home. They became victims of the facility crisis in this county.

They started their very first year at school at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, being shuttled back-and forth to the elementary school. As 4-year-olds, getting on and off the bus, zipping coats, carrying backpacks are all new skills. The transitions were hard, and it shrunk their three hour opportunity to learn. It wasn’t just hard on the kids. We watched as their teachers, Mrs. Towers, Mrs. S, and Mrs. Wolf worked so hard to ensure that the children had all that they needed to learn in their temporary location. Their effort to stay organized and calm in the midst of the logistical chaos was above and beyond their job description, and I thank them for it. I also wonder how long our good teachers can be asked to do so much with so little.

In November, the kids were fortunate enough to move into their new building. Pick up and drop off is now a breeze. I am comforted, knowing that entry and exit to the building is secure, and the kids have adequate space. Something as simple as small bathrooms for small people makes our little girl’s experience at school less scary. The amount of learning has exploded and they are able to spend time and resources on learning.

I am voting yes on April 3rd, and I am asking the community to vote yes with me. I am asking you to vote yes for my daughter Lily and all of her classmates. You see, in six years, they will be ready for middle school and yet again faced with transitioning to a new building. But what will that school be? Will it be a Band-Aid solution? Will it be temporary classrooms set up in the parking lot? Will the doors lock? Will there be adequate heating and cooling? Will the school have to sacrifice teaching positions or classroom resources in order to finance renovations? Or will it be the current high school where renovations can make the facility a safe, reliable and permanent solution for middle schoolers in our county to attend for many years to come.

If we vote no, there are real consequences for real kids in the county. There are real kids that will lose time in the classroom while we fight to find them a facility solution. There are real kids that won’t be able to get to class on time because they cannot get up the stairs at the middle school. There are real kids that are going to a school that does not meet today’s security standards. There are real kids that will fall behind their peers in other communities with more technology. There are real families that will leave this community to give their children a better educational opportunity. There are real kids that may have to take on debt to pay for an education that could be provided at the career academy.

Please be a part of the permanent solution to the future of education in Greene County. Support these kids in learning and growing in a safe and reliable environment. Vote yes on April 3rd!

Hannah Sheridan, Jefferson

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