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Warren was a good example
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Dear Editor,
As the mother of two daughters who have danced for Debbie Warren at Barton, I was shocked to hear of her sudden firing for reasons which are yet to made clear. My daughter, Katie, was on the Barton dance team from 1999-2001 and returned to be Debbie’s assistant from 2004-2006. My daughter, Megan, danced with the Argonne All-Stars during her senior year and was a member of the Barton dance team from 2005-2007.
Since beginning dancing as pre-schoolers, they have both had many good dance teachers but Debbie was so much more than their dance teacher.
I can only echo all of the accolades written in previous letters about her commitment to her students, the dance and cheer programs, the community, and Barton County Community College. Debbie’s commitment didn’t end when practice was over. If the girls needed discipline, she gave it, if they needed a pep talk about grades, she gave it and if they needed encouragement, she gave that in abundance. Debbie’s commitment didn’t even end when they completed their Barton careers. Katie, along with several other dancers and cheerleaders went on to Wichita State after Barton.
Where did I see Debbie while in Daytona Beach for Nationals? I saw her running between performances of her current Barton teams to be in the front row cheering on her former athletes competing on the WSU teams. Debbie’s influence on the lives of my girls remains evident in the happy, confident young women they are becoming.
As a fan of Barton athletics, I think her firing will diminish the vibrant atmosphere found at Barton athletic events. 
My husband and I never missed a performance while the girls were at Barton and we loved coming early to lean over the railing of the Kirkman and watch them practice their routines. Debbie insisted there was always something that could be improved a bit before the performance. Even though we still had to drive back to Dodge City, we never left before the end of the basketball game because we so enjoyed watching the basketball team, listening to the pep band and cheering along with the cheerleaders. It was always quite the performance by everyone involved and I was so proud to say my girls were part of that.
As an educator, I am disturbed by the way the students who approached the board of trustees were treated. One of the most important lessons I want my students to learn is that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard enough, a message that Debbie drove home every day my girls were with her and that lives in them still. It is also so important to teach students that they can make a difference and that they should speak up for what they see as unjust.
Unfortunately, the lesson the students were subjected to at the board of trustees meeting was that what they thought didn’t matter and their input (for the five minutes allocated) was tolerated but not appreciated. 
It is a sad day indeed when the voices of young people are ignored.
I hope that the injustice inflicted upon Debbie Warren by not allowing her to continue her outstanding coaching career at Barton will not be ignored.
Paula Hruska, 
Dodge City