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Letters Published in May 9, 2007 Issue
May 9, 2007 - Letter submitted by Kynten Hannon, KHS Junior
On behalf of the Riley Fundraising Committee at Knightstown High School, I would like to extend thanks to everyone who made the annual Rock for Riley concert on April 27 a huge success. The donations collected from this year's concert exceeded all previous years. A special thank you must be extended to the following: Kristi Williamson (head of the Riley Fundraising Committee); Philip Scholl (biology teacher); Michelle Swift (CAB treasurer) and her husband; Debi King (tech support); Eric Cox (Banner owner and publisher); Kevin Snyder (American Family Insurance); KPD reserve officer Gannon Woods; Dave Mathews (emcee and former KHS student); and WKPW. Our deepest gratitude must go to the bands and their families who participated in the concert and donated their time and effort to make this concert a success. Also, a special thank you is extended to all who donated to the cause, but were unable to attend. It was your contributions that pushed us over the top! I hope that everyone in attendance had a wonderful time. For those of you who did attend, I hope to see you back, and if you haven't seen the show, be sure to come next year! You're supporting a wonderful cause.
May 9, 2007 - Letter submitted by Sarah Tabb, Knightstown
I am a junior at Knightstown High School, and have seen the slow deterioration of my education. The environment of my school is one key factor. The fact that there is little to no discipline makes it nearly impossible to concentrate and absorb learning. While the teachers try to punish the students, their requests are ignored because heaven forbid we actually hurt someone's feelings or tell someone that they are wrong. I also feel that those they do punish are the wrong battles to pick when there are so many more problems.
There have been countless threats and people acting violently that I do not feel safe when coming to school. What happens when a teacher notices any of this? They send them to the office where they are not punished. If anyone spent any amount of time at our school, they would see that mental health and troubled teens are quite a problem at Knightstown High School. Also, it is affecting those who want to go to school: It is making them not want to go to our school, and perhaps change schools. Those who have the problems need help, and many of whom do not receive any guidance drop out. Since the superintendent claims that one of the reasons for the lack of money is a drop in enrollment, one would think he would want to keep our mental health counselor since that is a major reason for the drop in enrollment. Maybe it's just me, but that does not make sense.
Also, our education is severely lacking. While many of the teachers try as hard as they can to teach us (and many of whom succeed), there are simply not enough challenging classes, or different kinds. When I was filling out my registration for the SAT, I had to check what classes I had taken. I saw all of the other choices other schools had, and was again disappointed in my education. Many classes are required to take in high school for some college majors that our school does not even offer. For example, many students have to take physics online, which is not as effective as learning in a classroom. Students who want to go into nursing (which continues to rise in popularity as a major) are required at most colleges to have already taken an anatomy physiology class. Knightstown does not offer this course, so many are forced to take the class at New Castle. What if a student wants to go into nursing, but can not afford their own car, and therefore can not drive back and forth to New Castle everyday? Our school is also cutting down on its business program. For many years we have had two business teachers. This has worked great in the past, and I still remember much of what I learned in my freshman business class. After Mr. VanOsdol left, our school decided to have a teacher finish out the year, but Mrs. Lumpkin is left to teach all the classes next year. That is not fair to her, or the students. They should not have to be in large classes where learning will be even more difficult. It is important to have a good business program at our school since business is now the number one major in our country.
Our school already offers few classes. I had to take a teacher's assistant class because I did not have any class to put in my schedule. If they get rid of classes at a school that is already incredibly lacking important classes, who would go here? If we want to get more money at our school, why would we make it completely unappealing to anyone thinking about moving here? 1 know that if I had siblings younger then me, my parents would not send them to the Charles A. Beard school system. I can simply not understand how in the world destroying my education even MORE (if that is possible), is the best solution for the debt we are in.
If we absolutely HAVE to cut teachers, why would we cut teachers in the departments where students get the most scholarships? It seems that anytime there is a money crisis, the fine arts are the first on the chopping block. There was talk of cutting down the art department on top of everything else, which I find unbelievable. While my education is not all I wish it could be, our art department is exceptional. Every year, someone gets a scholarship for art. Last year alone, Ashley Sharp and Ashley Lee both received about $30,000 each in scholarships to attend St. Francis and pursue art. The same is with the other arts at our school. I would like everyone to compare the percent of scholarships people have received for the fine arts, compared to those of sports. Also compare those who have pursued and made careers from the fine arts compared to those who have made a career from sports. Why would our school cut out the fine arts, one of the few things our school actually excels in?
Aside from our school excelling in the fine arts, it is also a service to the community. Every year our plays, musicals, and concerts bring joy to the community. It also gives students a chance to shine at something they are good at. Not every student excels in the same thing. That is why choir and band are a wonderful thing. Some students may not be into sports or anything else, but they are a singer, or play an instrument. These classes give them a chance to further that passion, and maybe pursue it after high school. I find it terribly ironic that at the same board meeting where they announced the end of choir, they announced that someone gave money to start a scholarship for anyone pursuing the fine arts. There is no possible way someone will get into a choral program in college without ever have been in a choir before. What is the point of this scholarship if no one will be able to use it?
I also find it ridiculous to cut out ACT. If it had not been for ACT, I would have been bored out of my mind in elementary school. I also experienced countless opportunities. I was able to go on an amazing trip to Washington, D.C., in fourth grade through ACT., and my sister was able to go to Space Camp. We were able to take special classes on what were called "Super Saturdays" to further our learning. It is because of one those classes that my friend and I became interested in learning French. We are both in French class today, and she is actually going as a foreign exchange student to France next fall. This all started with a spark from ACT. It seems that if our school corporation truly cared about helping young minds grow, they would not eliminate a program that helps those who are more advanced at a younger age learn and grow.
With all of the conflicts at our school, I would like for everyone to show the teachers more appreciation. There are many amazing teachers at Knightstown High School that helped me mentally and emotionally. Many of the teachers put their heart and soul into their teaching, and truly want us to succeed. Mrs. Mercer helps us learn French, while also making it fun. She also cares about her students and encourages them when they are upset. If it had not been for her, I honestly don't know how I could've made it through high school thus far, and successfully. Mr. Rhiele is also an exceptional teacher at our school. He still gets excited about geometry proofs and parabolas even when we complain about it. One day our class asked him if he enjoyed his job. He replied that he had the best job in the world. There can not be a better teacher then one who loves his job, and wants to fill young minds.
I would like our school board and superintendent to seriously think about what they are doing. If we keep slashing jobs because money is low, we will never get more money because no one will go to our school. I would also like everyone to see faces and souls, not dollar signs and numbers.
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