Letter to the editor – Chris Deal

To the editor,

Growing up in Greene County, I was blessed to receive a top-notch, well-rounded education. A part of that experience was getting to attend a new elementary school when I started second grade. I don’t remember much about the old elementary school. I do, however, remember the computer labs at the new school and growing accustomed to that new technology.

My parents had a similar experience. While they were students in the late ’60s, the present-day high school opened. Again, they were exposed to opportunities that they otherwise would not have had, including science labs, new industrial arts facilities, and an auditorium.

There’s a precedent in our community of investing in education; each of the past generations has made a significant investment in education. My kids are now attending school in Greene County. It’s our generation’s turn to invest.

Our community has always taken pride in a great educational system. It was only a few years ago that we were identified as one of the top 100 schools in the nation for music education and, as one state education official put it, “the best comprehensive high school in the state of Iowa.”

We are still that community. And we still prioritize education. This past Saturday made that point loud and clear when 300 community members came together at the inaugural BOOST bash to celebrate our schools, say thank you to our teachers, and raise funds – well over $40,000 in fact – that will go directly back to our classrooms to create new opportunities for our students that would not have happened otherwise.

Facilities aren’t the only piece to a high-quality education. But the quality of facilities does have an impact. And I believe that impact goes beyond the many advantages that have been well-stated in these pages over the past weeks.

We have been blessed over the years with an incredible team of teachers. As many of those teachers near their well-deserved retirement, we are faced with the challenge of bringing in the next generation of teachers. And teachers make all the difference. Competition for teachers has never been greater, and when teachers are choosing where they want to establish roots, the quality of educational facilities – and the community as a whole – certainly are factors in their decision.

This vote is about more than bricks and mortar. It’s about making a statement of how our community prioritizes education. It’s about setting the stage for the next generation – of students and teachers.

We are a special community, and we have so many opportunities in front of us. Let’s take a big step forward on April 3 and make this generation’s investment in our schools. It’s our turn.

Chris Deal, Greene County

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