McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


January 6, 2011

Letter to Editor: Raising the bar and school pride

McALESTER — Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of the McAlester Public School bond vote coming up in January. As a dad of three, I have always wanted the “best” for my kids. I have always enjoyed seeing them do well in a newer, healthier environment. We came to McAlester from a larger school district where they had many opportunities and I would have liked to have offered them the same quality here in McAlester. As parents and supporters of the school we now have the opportunity to take a leap towards offering this better quality. It is impossible to put a price on the success of your children. But in my mind, a few hundred dollars a year is a small price to pay.

 Now that my children are grown I am looking at this opportunity from a business stand point. One of the problems with developing businesses here in McAlester is the work force of 16-23 year olds. Finding “good help” is an issue for any new business and I know that it begins with the education process of the community. I want to help “raise the bar” of educational standard by improving the atmosphere in which our youth are taught. I have watched the newer make-over TV show called School Pride.  They show a team of design people coming in to spend a week to improve a school that has great physical needs. To watch the faces of the students and to hear their comments about what it means to have a great looking school and up-to-date facilities is a real encouragement to me. I know that if we improve our schools, we improve our youth. If we improve our youth then we improve our work force! It only helps all of us in the long term. Again, we come back to the dollar investment and I look at it as a small amount to pay to have the future of a stronger work force in McAlester.

There is one more way to look at this. As a more rural community in Oklahoma, we want to project the best image we can to increase growth and advancement. In the past four years I have heard many comments about companies looking at McAlester and then having negative impressions of us. One of the important items on any company’s check list, when they look at a potential location, is the school system. They want a strong, relevant school system that will attract personnel to McAlester. I want to be proud of my community and the facilities we have here. So much has been done and added in the past 10 to 15 years, but while some areas have improved, our school system has been left to fend for itself. It is now time for all of us to help. If we want McAlester to be noticed as a positive, progressive community we must support the schools.

Any investment we make into our youth will be an investment in the future of McAlester. Let’s not get caught up with wanting to keep our money, instead, let us desire to invest our money where it will continue to make a difference ... in our youth!


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