McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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January 6, 2011

Letter to Editor: A debt of gratitude

McALESTER — Editor:

Our community and my family owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the McAlester Public Schools. My wife and I are very proud of the education that our children received in McAlester. My wife has over 28 years of experience with the McAlester schools and I recently retired with 30 years experience. As educators we have first-hand knowledge of our school system and the physical structures.

During my 30 year career, I had the privilege of working in several buildings in the McAlester school district; most which were built in the fifties, sixties and seventies. These buildings have served the citizens of McAlester well with very little upkeep. Most families that purchased or built homes during this time period have done remodels and/or major repairs. Some of the MPS buildings have new roofs, but the last building that I had the privilege to work in (full time) was Puterbaugh Middle School which has not had any major remodels or repairs. The roof needs to be replaced and the restrooms are in dire need of renovations. Several other buildings throughout the district are also in need of major repairs and renovations.

The education system is an important factor in economic development. Most companies/industries rank the education system of the community as an important component of the criteria used in determining a new business location. We have a state of the art high school and great teachers and staff throughout the district. However, we need to update the whole district. Please look at all the advantages of the upcoming bond election and consider voting yes on these issues. To quote Aristotle, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” We should sacrifice today to provide the “roots” for our children’s education and “fruits” for their future. Thank you and God bless you and your families.

Donnie Condit is the Oklahoma state representative for District 18.

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