Letters 2

Letters 2 Vote yes May 8

To the editor:

It's sad to watch the teachers carrying their supplies from room to room. Mrs. Book, for example, has to carry all her art and English around. I feel sorry for the teachers that have to share rooms with each other. It would be a lot easier if we got a new school. Every teacher would have their own room or rooms.

I hope we get a new school. If we get a new school we should get something for the handicapped like a ramp. We should get new equipment for the playground. The teachers should get new books every two years for the students.

There is so much noise when the high-schoolers change classes. When the bell rings we can hear all the noise that they make. We have to shut the doors all the time. (I wish I had ear plugs when the bell rings.) The pre-school should have a room instead of being on the stage.

We should have a storage room so that when we have plays they can put the tables and chair racks in there. The storage room would be good for lots of things.

On May 8 vote yes. I know that some people are against voting but I urge the rest of the people to vote yes.

Sincerely,

Casey Hessman

Wakonda

Numbers aren't facts

To the editor:

It has long been my contention that numbers aren't the facts, but that pride and determination achieve the facts. Born in the 1940s, I was one of eight children. My father wasn't a doctor, lawyer, or CEO. He was a hard-working farmer who farmed his aunt's land and this meant he had to give her a share of the profits.

I wanted to go to college and become an educator. The numbers said I couldn't go � there wasn't enough money. The facts said I wanted to go, and so I did!

When my husband and I were just starting our teaching careers and married lives in the 1960s, the numbers said we shouldn't stay in South Dakota. The pay was much better in Alaska, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, and even Australia � some of the places we were offered contracts. The numbers said don't stay in South Dakota � the facts said we wanted to, and so we did!

Five or six years into our careers, my husband got a job as guidance counselor in Wakonda. I took a job teaching in a town nearby. That was in 1976. Wakonda School had just finished building the new kitchen, science room and gym. The school was full of pride. There was no doubt about it, my husband was certain this was the school for us. I took a job teaching at Wakonda School the next year.

The town wasn't growing anymore, in fact, it was losing a business or two. The numbers said don't buy a house or raise a family in this town. The facts said we wanted to, and so we did!

My husband died of cancer in 1981. The numbers said I should take my young family of three children and return to my extended family and home town, where there was a house available and people who were willing to help raise my children. The numbers said don't stay in Wakonda � the facts said I wanted to, and so I did!

Now 25 years after my arrival in Wakonda, the small town with so much pride, another struggle with numbers is happening. Our school is at the stage in its life where it needs a facelift. Progress has determined that changes have to be made once again. Some say the numbers dictate that we not help our school move into the next century. The numbers say that there are too few children in our community.

How few are too few to justify not progressing? At our recent kindergarten round-up we found 20 kindergarten-age children in our district. Two have open enrolled in other schools, and one is leaving the state. Which leaves the perfect number for our kindergarten? What is a perfect number in education? Is it seven? Is it 10? Is it 20? Is it 30? Is it 50? The facts say we want our school, and so we will!

Vote with pride and determination on May 8, vote yes for Wakonda School! Make pride and determination, not numbers, achieve for Wakonda School, like it has for so many years.

Kay Lueth

Elementary principal

Wakonda

What about Wakonda's high school students?

I have attended two Wakonda bond meetings and have come away with one conclusion: You don't care about the high school students as much as the elementary students.

I have heard the "If we build it, they will come: reasoning. How can you attract something that isn't physically there? South Dakota has lost roughly 5,000 elementary students over the last five years.

The "fringe area" students will attend a bigger district because of the educational choices that are offered. Not to mention that maybe the parents work there and find it more convenient than taking time off to get a sick or hurt child, take them to a doctor and back home.

Besides, we're not losing the younger kids as fast as we are the older ones. They won't be the ones benefiting from the new addition. They are the ones being pushed aside. We don't have the class choices that a bigger district can and does offer.

Sure, we have long distance learning. But, how much fun is it when you're the only one in that class in school? Who do you call for help? Where do you go for help on weekends?

I have asked twice about the high school students and received an answer concerning the new addition, the elementary students and what their teachers will be able to do in bigger classrooms.

So, I will ask a third time: What do you plan to do to keep our high school students from leaving the district?

Gene Lindblom

Wakonda

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