To the editor,
I have been a resident of Great Bend for 65 years. My husband and I raised two children and they received their education in our school district. Also, I have taught at Great Bend High School for 40 years. As an educator, resident and parent, I am very familiar with some of the needs of our schools and the needs of our community.
My parents are Elsena Bender and the late Hubert Bender. They were both active community members and voted yes for almost every bond issue whether it was for schools, for roads, or for flood control so that our community could grow and prosper. I believe it is important to support your community in general, but as I’ve taught for 40 years, the needs of our children and our schools have changed. In that time, safety has become a bigger and bigger concern. While we have made small steps to ensure safety, like installing video cameras in the somewhat recent past, there are larger needs that cannot be overlooked, needs that have to be addressed. In today’s world of school shootings, any increased security we can implement is so important.
The other thing that people in the community need to understand is that regardless of our decision, other communities are investing in their schools and addressing safety concerns. I would like to retire here in Great Bend and I want our community to remain strong. When young families are trying to decide where they want to raise their children and send them to school, they are going to pick communities that invest in their youth and public education. If we want to compete for our growing community and economic development, we need to support this bond issue.
I want to encourage voters to vote yes for our kids, our community, and our future.