To the Editor:
We would like to offer another perspective to the discussion about our local school referendum. Few of us like to spend more money on things, especially as we see prices rise seemingly before our very eyes. Yet we end up paying higher prices because that is the cost of purchasing items we cannot go without, or choose to not go without. The cost of a quality and well-rounded education is no exception.
We write from the perspective as persons who have made the choice to move to Fairmont and serve in our community. When we were asked to move to Fairmont in 2006, one of the first things we did was visit the public school's website and look at the courses and extracurriculars offered. When we came to town for an interview meeting, our first appointment in town was at the high school to get a firsthand impression of where our two sons might be attending school.
From previous experience, we have learned to judge the strength and quality of a school by its extracurricular offerings. If the school district did not impress us, it would have had a significant impact on our decision to move to Fairmont six years ago.
So another perspective to consider as the referendum approaches is to consider persons and families who may or may not choose to relocate to Fairmont as a result of what our schools will offer to their children. If we do not offer a quality education, and well as quality enrichment opportunities, many of these qualified candidates will choose to relocate to a community that will provide a better education and more opportunities for their children. As a result, our community will never benefit from these persons and families who chose not to move to Fairmont.
We feel fortunate that our two sons, before they graduated from Fairmont High School, were able to be a part of International Baccalaureate (previously cut), speech, Knowledge Bowl, math league, track, golf, plays, musicals, student council, band, jazz band, orchestra, and choir. As our sons were considered for colleges and universities, and as they applied for significant scholarships, their participation in these activities was helpful. We hope that persons who might consider moving to Fairmont in the future will have the same opportunities available for their children.
Please take time to consider how many of our doctors, professionals, executives, and clergy have been recruited to make the move to come to Fairmont, and what impact a quality school system has in their decisions.
Thank you for the opportunities you provided to our sons. We will vote "yes" so other families will also be so blessed.
Tony and Joleen Fink