To the Editor:
The demise of Lincoln School as a facility for Fairmont Area Schools presents an interesting opportunity for the area, in my opinion.
We continually here from employers that "good help is hard to find." We also have kids who have trouble succeeding in the regular high school setting who could use an alternative education choice, a choice that has now moved to Winnebago.
Other observations include the highly successful effort and demand to get FFA back in our school system, the popularity of welding and metals classes when available, and the success of the city of Jackson in attracting and expanding ag-related businesses that can be attributed to Minnesota West Technical College (Jackson vo-tech).
Also, we now are seeing a major shift in workforce needs reflected by the shortage of workers in the ag area for mechanical and equipment operators; animal, plant and soil science workers; and related technology experts.
I believe Lincoln School presents an excellent opportunity to provide education beyond that provided by existing systems in the area. This could be in the order of a charter school for undergraduate study, and or a post-secondary education facility beyond high school. It could be an extension of the existing SMEC campus, or a new stand-alone facility.
Southern Minnesota Educational Campus in Fairmont has proven to be highly successful, and the city of Fairmont and everyone else involved with that needs to be commended. Also, our local school districts are doing a marvelous job considering the constraints and rules they are saddled with.
I believe that an effort to utilize Lincoln School to further enhance the educational opportunities available to individuals would be well worth the investment, would serve to compliment what we already have, and would raise the overall well being of the community.
Steven E. Pierce