Our communities support each other

Dear Editor,

I appreciate everyone who attended and participated in the meeting on Friday, March 22, held in the Bern Community Center. Patrons from all sides shared:

1. Northeast Kansas and the people in all the communities are salt of the earth, hardworking folks who care deeply about family and education.

2. USD 113 and USD 115 are both quality schools with quality educational programs.

3. Parents who choose to send their kids “out of district,” either to USD 113 or USD 115, are involved in their children’s education. Speakers shared examples of their involvement as out of district parents; these examples include:

• Out of district parents are on building site councils,

• Elementary PTO President or other PTO involvement,

• Out of district parent(s) are room mother(s) in kids’ classrooms,

• Volunteer in classroom activities,

• Volunteer in activity booster clubs,

• Out of district parent(s) have emailed, teachers, administrators, board members, and the superintendent with questions, requests, concerns, and opinions; not once have we been ignored or treated differently because we live outside the boundaries of the district,

• Never told that because we don’t have a vote that we don’t have a voice; we often have communicated with BOE members, and they listen even though we are technically ‘out of district.’

Whether you attended the meeting or not, it is well known that all the communities are interconnected – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and relatives are spread across the communities. The communities support each other. For example, home game sporting events with a school activity fund raisers like spaghetti night, taco feed, or chili supper.

All these communities come together to celebrate good news – like delivering meals when a family brings home a new baby or child. The communities come together to help build and support our houses of worship – like funding a new building, attending a pancake feed or fish fry.

All these communities come together to support others struck by tragedy – like a tornado that roars through or a terrible crash that takes friends and family too soon.

A community member stated after the meeting, “At the end of the day, when the paid lobbyist and attorneys go back to their lives, Bern, Sabetha, Axtell, and Seneca communities will be left to pick up the pieces, much like what we witnessed [at the end of the meeting]. Folks from all sides cleaned up the building, put chairs away, and chatted about the sporting events happening that night. It reaffirmed that no matter what, our communities are great places with great people.”

Kathy Lippert, Sabetha

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