To the Editor:
I am 68 years old. I am retired. I am a widow. I am a lifelong resident of Martin County. I am a graduate of Fairmont High School. And I will vote yes for the school referendum in November.
I will vote yes out of gratitude for the sacrifices of past generations for my and your public school education; for the teachers, students, administrators who work hard to make ours a great school, even while taking pay freezes and teaching ever larger classes; for the young parents who continue to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for my generation with no guarantee of the same return for themselves.
I will vote yes out of pride for all the positive growth in our schools over the years, growth that needs to continue; for all the times our band marches down the street or plays at concerts or sports events, for young athletes that excel; for speech teams that are regularly high rated; for orchestra and choir concerts; for plays and musicals, etc., etc.; for the great preparation our classes provide our kids and grandkids for post-high school education; for the skills taught in our vocational/technical classes for those planning to go directly into the work force from high school.
I will vote yes for our students, who need to develop their talents, whatever they are; who need knowledge, skills and resources vastly different from the books and blackboards of my day; who need a good foundation for post-secondary education or work; who need extra and co-curricular activities to keep them physically active and give them healthy ways to use their time. Sports and arts give our kids not only knowledge, but teach them responsibility, commitment, teamwork and self-confidence. They develop them into future leaders.
I will vote yes for our community because educating our kids makes us a better community; it shows we care about our young people and their future; that we want them to become the best they can be in whatever work they choose because we gave them the building blocks. We need their gifts for the future. We need good families to move into our community and our present families to stay, to keep us alive and well educationally, financially, culturally.
I grew up without central heating. Air conditioning was a fan. My mother used a wringer washer. My grandmother's cook stove was wood-burning. I know some of you have similar memories. I do not want to go back to those days. I doubt if you do either. Schools and their needs have also changed with the times. I plan to support what we have in our district by voting yes for the referendum on Nov. 6. Won't you join me?
Mary Anne Mayberry