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October Newsletter

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October 2014

Parents, Patrons, Staff, and Students:

In a matter of speaking, the past couple of months have been unusual, exciting, and eventful.  I think there is still talk in the coffee shops about the storm that went through the area that produced large hail and heavy rains.  Road construction has provided entertainment, frustration, and satisfaction of getting a new surface on highway 24.  We soon vote on new or returning legislators and/or governor.  Wow, what a mouthful!

One never thinks about the weather when it comes to education unless it deals with the amount of snowfall.  Lately the district has seen many challenges with the weather and road construction.  The reconstruction of the bridge south of Downs is adding additional miles for everyone to travel around the construction in order to make it to town.  Before the construction, individuals may have only had to travel a few miles and now are traveling multiple miles.  A simple walk has become a trek and the weather has compounded the traveling.

I’m sure I speak for everyone on the highway 24 construction and being frustrated with the wait time.  Our football coach shared that his actual practice time was shorter than the wait time on the bus while having to drive through the construction.  I think the only thing keeping overall driver frustration levels down was the entertainment provided by the flag people.  Our tax dollars at work!  At least we have better highways than most other states and I do enjoy driving down a smooth highway.

If you have watched any television or listened to the radio over the past several weeks, you have heard the ads asking people to vote for the best legislator or governor for our state.  I have heard the advertisements have made national attention.  I’m not sure if that is good or bad?  I read that the voter turnout in the primary election was about 15% of the registered voters.  It is really difficult for me to understand why 15% of the population determines what is best for everyone in the state.  It seems that whoever wins, the voter receives an average of 35-49% of the total votes that are cast.  That is still less than 7% of the total population in the state.  When someone tells you that every vote counts, it is actually true because as a general turnout on voters, we have a very small percent that take the time to cast their ballot.

In our neck of the woods, most of us feel that we won’t have an impact of the legislative decision because we are far enough away from Topeka and no one knows that we are here.  In a way, this is very true, but has a side effect.  If legislators don’t hear from us they believe that they are doing what we want them to do so it is important that they hear from the rural areas.  This is also why it is important for everyone to vote for individuals that will strive towards what they campaign about.

For education, it has been difficult to fund quality education while meeting the needs of students and the requirements of the state department.  The legislators have made it clear that if they are providing the funds for education, they want to determine how we spend the funds.  Every year the legislators have become stricter on spending district funds.

I mentioned the campaigning ads….what to believe and what not to believe? I just laugh when I hear some of the information that is being presented to the public.  For example, one individual decided that he no longer wanted to run for an office and his opponents were fighting to keep his name on the ballet.  One would think that it would be great to have your opponent drop out of the election?  It’s just amazing the amount of political rhetoric that is presented to the public to gain office.

As you know, it is very important to do your research on candidates that run for office because the truth is not always presented to the public.  There is often more “dirt” presented about opponents than what the individual truly stands for.  This is probably why most individuals make the decision to not vote because they don’t feel that there is a good choice and it becomes the lessor of two evils.

The upcoming election is going to be very important for education, industry, and the working individual.  Whoever gets elected into office will continue to impact all of us and we need to make the decision on what our best choice is going to be.  Once the individuals are in office, it is important that we continue to communicate with them even if we didn’t vote for them because of the implications to our community. 

Until voting time….

Troy Damman

Superintendent