Letter to the Editor

Residents of Graettinger-Terril School District:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I am enthusiastically voting “yes” for the $9.7 million bond that will fund several necessary improvements in our school facilities. First off, school safety is of paramount concern and the bond would provide funding to construct secure entrances into our facilities. Secondly, the bond would fund several needed improvements at our high school including a new science, vocational agricultural, and industrial technology classrooms/lab areas. Lastly, a new gymnasium would be constructed. I believe a new gym is needed and we are one of the only districts in the state of Iowa without a competitive gym where we can host district and regional events. Some say a gym is only used for athletics and athletic events, but a gym is used every school day/hour for various purposes including physical education, team-building activities, etc. Some say it is the most used classroom of any school. I don’t like paying more taxes any more than the next person, but I believe this investment into our school is necessary. I personally will be appreciative of all property taxpayers in our district if the bond is approved. You will have helped ensure the safety of my children and provide improved facilities to enhance their learning environment.

On a related note, I am proud that my wife and I are both graduates of the G-T schools and feel fortunate to be able to raise my own children in the district. Most importantly, I am grateful that our children can attend G-T schools, including spending their elementary years in the same (but physically-improved) Terril school I attended. Anyone that has a vested interest in the Terril community should feel proud that we have a functioning school thanks to a successful consolidation with our friends to the east, Graettinger! We have endured constant negativity about our Terril school, starting 40-plus years ago when my father was told he wouldn’t graduate because the building would cease operations. While we are no longer and haven’t been “Terril Community School” for over 10 years, we still have a functioning and successful school! The dilapidated Lake Center School south of Terril serves as a reminder of what it could be like in Terril if we were to give up on our school and our community. I personally love seeing all the happy elementary children running in and out of the school and believe the alternative is not acceptable given we have a financially strong, viable, successful school district today and the outlook is bright.

Lastly, it is each parent’s right to choose where to send their children to school and if you choose to open-enroll out of our district, I respect your decision. However, I ask that if you are considering open enrolling out of our district, please make sure it is for all the right reasons. My parents were and remain active voices and advocates for the Terril community and G-T schools, and taught me to deal with problems or differences head-on rather than avoiding them. Growing up, they could have open-enrolled my two brothers and I instead of working alongside several generational Terril families/residents to ensure the Terril school remains in-use today. I too will fight to ensure the Terril School remains active and promote the long-term success of our school district. We have a great school district here at G-T and I am proud to be part of it!

Patrick Fairchild, G-T resident