Help The Schools, Get Involved

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Editor:

As this school year comes to an end, I wanted to take the opportunity to let the community know what an eye-opening opportunity I had in working for Payson High School this year.

I had the pleasure of working with two wonderful women that I liked at the beginning of the school year, and have come to love and admire at the end of the school year.

I worked as a teacher's aide for Terry McKee and Devon Wells in the Family and Consumer Science Department (FACS, formerly Home Ec for those in my age bracket).

Many times, when major extracurricular activities came up, I would work long hours that would really be exhausting, and yet they, as the teachers, were there at school before me, be at the extra programs in the evening, and even stay after I left, (I knew because the next morning you could tell they came back or stayed), and would still be at work before me the next day.

They take great joy in the students that work hard at learning, and work hard to light the fire under the indifferent students. So many of the lessons learned in these classrooms could be learned at home, but, sadly, you know they are not being taught. I will not be returning as a paid employee next year, but I plan to be there as a volunteer.

Our teachers deserve more -- more pay, more help in the classroom, surely much more appreciation than they currently receive. Many great teachers who have worked for PUSD for years are not there for the big bucks, but because they really care for our children and love teaching. My respect for them has grown by leaps and bounds.

I know how hard our school board works to do the best it can with the monies allotted. But, they can only do so much between the small budgets handed them by the state and the many un-funded, and yet mandated, programs that they are required by law to have. Our only hope is to flood the State Legislature with our "public opinion" and let them know they are cutting our future short by not putting the education of our youth on the top of their list.

If you really want to learn what is going on with your child's education -- volunteer. Talk to a member of your school board. Do your homework before you pronounce a verdict. You may be surprised what you learn.

Nancy Gartner, Payson

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