School needs our help

Dear Editor,

Our little school in Mancos is the heartbeat of this town. The beautiful historic school has been the longest, continually operating school in the state of Colorado. And even though Colorado ranks near the bottom in national funding for education, and Mancos has one of the lowest teacher salaries in the Southwest region, our schools are filled with many wonderful educators who truly care about our children. My husband and I moved to Mancos over eight years ago and have been extremely pleased with the gifted and caring teachers our children have experienced over the years!

I believe that teaching is one of the most challenging professions ever. I can speak to this as I was a teacher for several years. Anyone who thinks that teachers just show up and play school for the day need only teach for a week. Most would figure out the challenges within a day or less. While we have some great kids in Mancos, many of our students face financial and educational difficulties. Thank goodness we have caring teachers who give of their time, concern and abilities. It’s not just a paycheck for them or they wouldn’t be in this profession, especially in Mancos. (In fact, many of the teachers who I know in the Mancos Schools give financially as well in regards to supplies and special needs for their students and classrooms.)

I not only appreciate and feel gratitude for our teachers and for our students, but I also know that a healthy community is only as healthy as its school. I realize that our school, teachers, administrators and students are not perfect, but we have so much to celebrate in Mancos. We have a staff of teachers, counselors, administrators, secretaries, custodians, cafeteria and transportation personnel who care deeply for our kids, and a community who has always, in my experience, supported and cherished our young people. Now, due to circumstances beyond our control, our schools need our help. We need to keep our highly qualified (and underpaid) staff and maintain the programs that we currently offer by voting ‘YES’ on the Mancos Mill Levy.

Please join in this important effort and vote ‘YES’ on 3A ( The Mancos Mill Levy). We need to keep the wonderful teachers and programs that we have, as our young people are our future.

I am also grateful for all of those in our community who volunteer their time to HELP our schools and our children from volunteers, to PTA members, Booster members, School Board members, as well as the many who I am forgetting to name. Instead of criticizing our schools and staff at this crucial time, please take the time to get to know our schools, our staff, and especially our precious children, and become part of the solution.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Paschal

Via e-mail