Schools, WITCC need our support

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We encourage area residents to please get out and vote in the Tuesday, September 13 School Elections.

As our apathetic world turns, education is surely not an area we can ignore or make false assumptions that all is forever well.

Like most things, educational pursuits need continually worked at and those directly involved, such as teachers, administrators, school boards and support staff, need our unending support in both spirit and monetarily.

We applaud those among us who make the unpaid effort to serve on our School Boards.

We applaud the dedicated, caring faculty and school administrators who work with these boards to ensure that our students - our children - are getting a fair shake and a quality education as they pass through our schools Pre K-12 and beyond.

Like you, we are concerned about the lack of numbers when it comes to the number of school board candidates willing to serve, However, we plan to go vote to show our support and gratitude for those who do serve even if there is no official "race" for the seats up for election.

We also applaud voters who have long supported our schools' Physical Plant & Equipment Levies (PPEL) when they come due. Wise, visionary stewardship by our administrators, faculty, and school boards have combined to today offer our children unfathomable, priceless educational opportunities because such PPEL revenues allow school districts to secure and enhance additional equipment, learning tools, transportation, and facilities with just one thing in mind - to better prepare and educate students.

An extension of all the good PPEL funds provide a school district is also necessary for our growing Community Colleges to function at proper levels to the benefit of our adult student population and many high school students who seize the opportunities and "fast-track" studies Community Colleges offer them.

Cherokee is fortunate to have a Western Iowa Tech Community College Campus, thanks to visionary pioneers Joe Lundsgaard and Joan Ballantyne of Cherokee, retired WITCC President Dr. Robert Dunker, and the good people of this community who saw the need and benefits WITCC would bring to Our Town, and who reached into their wallets and purses to make it happen.

Cherokee is renowned and admired throughout the State for its people simply rolling up their sleeves to "git 'er done" after all other avenues have been explored. Witness Bacon Aquatic Center and Gillette Park, the Cherokee Middle School, George Hicks Field at WHS, the CRMC Wellness Center, the renovated downtown and its beautiful historic buildings...

WITCC is a valuable resource for this community that provides an invaluable service to hundreds of students seeking to improve their lives and find their career paths. Thousands of students have passed through the Cherokee Campus in its 15 years of existence here, and thousands more will as the future unwinds.

The WITCC Physical Plant Levy is also on the September 13 School Election ballot. Your "YES" vote is needed to continue the levy that WITCC takes to the voters every 10 years for necessary funds targeting instructional building and labs, equipment, and infrastructure maintenance.

Once a proposed wind turbine gets built in Cherokee, WITCC has vowed to relocate its entire Wind Energy Program here, requiring a new facility and dormitory space for the influx of students today flocking to renewable energy educational programs.

Please get out and vote September 13. Our schools need and deserve our support to continue keeping Iowa at the top of the class when it comes to education.