Readers urge yes vote for Pentwater school bond proposal.

October 12, 2021

Readers urge yes vote for Pentwater school bond proposal.

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Oceana County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to OCP’s Op/Ed policy.

Dear Editor,

    One definition of investment: an act of devoting time, effort or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. As long time Pentwater residents we know that Pentwater Schools has produced worthwhile results as evidenced by low class size, high graduation rates, low drop out numbers, and high academic standards just to name a few.

Our great- grandparents and grandparents believed in education when they established the first school in the 1850s. Pentwater has continued to grow and build on the belief that a school is a crucial part of the community. We are choosing to devote time, effort and energy to invest in our students and Pentwater schools.  We feel it is our responsibility to provide this and future generations with a first -class learning environment.

We will be voting yes on Pentwater Bond 2021 and encourage you to join us.

Mike and Kendra Flynn

Pentwater

Dear Editor:

Pentwater Public Schools is holding a millage request election that we believe to be an important investment in the community’s future.  Given that the district has long been recognized for its quality educational programs and superb staff, in spite of the considerable challenges facing a small district.

We are familiar with the district’s qualities as full-time residents with two students who have graduated from Pentwater.  We were very impressed with the community support the district and its students received. Upon graduation, many valuable scholarships were given to the exiting seniors.  Both are very successful adults contributing back to their communities. Let’s continue this support.  

It has been argued that a small district doesn’t need “that much money.”  Keep in mind that as a small district, Pentwater can’t leverage economies of scale to purchase large quantities of anything at lower cost.  It simply costs more per capita to operate a smaller district.  Given their performance track record, the cost is a good investment in our future.  Families frequently list school quality as a major factor when deciding where to settle.

Another claim we have heard is that a small school doesn’t need an auditorium.  Large districts have an auditorium.  Are we to assume that Pentwater students are undeserving of one based solely at the size of the student population?  We encourage readers to check the music, visual arts, and performance arts programs and their records of student success before deciding.  It’s impressive.

Keep in mind also that money we invest in our community’s future, especially our youth, is an investment in all residents.  We can only expect quality, ethical young adults to emerge from an educational institution and community that is willing to invest financially in them.  We get what we pay for.    

We encourage voters to support this millage as a small investment that will yield great rewards.

Educationally yours,

Stephen and Kathleen Hamilton

Pentwater

Dear Editor

I am encouraging residents in the Pentwater School District to make an investment in the buildings and facilities by voting “yes” on November 2.  I am a Pentwater School District resident and former school board member.  Our schools are no different than our homes we need to upgrade, sometimes build new and replace to protect the value.   The added benefit of this bond proposal is the strong involvement with the community to improve local resources.  

Pentwater Schools has a strong history of excelling in the area of student outcomes.  We need to protect this tradition by assuring a safe and secure environment for our students which also includes improved facilities for arts and physical fitness.   It is well documented that children who participate in arts and sports have better student outcomes

The avenue for financing the proposed revisions is no different than used by other school districts to improve their facilities   The present mills levied by Pentwater School are the lowest in the area.  The time is now for making an investment in students and community.  These projects will only cost more in the future if an investment is not made now.

I encourage you to get the accurate facts on the project to make an informed decision.   Visit www.pentwaterschools.net/bond .

Pentwater is vibrant community and the school is a strong component.  Please join me in voting “yes”.

Respectfully,

Linda VanGills

Pentwater

Dear Editor, 

The renovation/expansion of Pentwater Public Schools is a much-needed update that will provide students and their families with the education they deserve. I recently graduated from Pentwater, the teachers and staff provided me with an education allowing me the opportunity to attend the University of Michigan on a HAIL scholarship. Despite the lack of facilities, such as a proper gym, track and an auditorium. 

During my time at Pentwater, I participated in sideline cheer as well as track and field, both these activities would have been greatly improved by the additions this bond is proposing. In cheer, it was a constant struggle to find the space needed to perform cheers and adequately support the basketball teams. Anyone who’s attended a game should be able to recall how the cheerleaders are condemned to a small corner on the far side of the gym. It was always a shock to cheer at away games, we’d actually have space to showcase the more complex cheers we’d practiced! With the improvements proposed, team morale would improve and Pentwater’s indoor sports teams could have a home gym they’re proud of!

In addition, a “real” track has been wished for and talked about for years! The prospect of this finally happening is incredibly exciting! Although I’m no longer part of the track & field team in Pentwater, I know how much the sport means to the school, and I’ll never forget the struggle of having to practice my sprints on a nearly nonexistent track. The coach, Erika Fatura gives her all to each team, just as the team members give their all to represent Pentwater. It is a long-held belief of mine that investment in a proper track is the least we could do for these teams, which have managed to set various records, despite having to spend a great deal of the season practicing in the mud! 

Finally, I want to advocate for the addition that I’m most passionate about: the auditorium. An auditorium would have dramatically improved my education. Not only would an auditorium have provided a special space for events such as graduation, honors ceremonies, Poetry Out Loud, and band concerts, but it would have also allowed space for some of the classes I took, such as Mr. Magrath’s Poetry and Short Stories class, and my personal favorite, his Public Speaking class! As a firm believer in the importance of arts, I know this addition  will spark a great deal of excitement and creative growth for Pentwater students!

All in all, the prospect of the 2021 Pentwater Bond passing is thrilling! Pentwater has always been a place where the community comes together to support one another, and I hope that this support will extend to the passing of the bond in November. 

I’m already looking forward to returning home from life in the “big” city, but now that excitement is elevated as I consider the possibilities that this bond sets forth.

Shelby Brown

Pentwater

Dear Editor,

The Pentwater school bond proposal is on the ballot this November. I write here to urge your vote in favor.

My wife and I live in Pentwater.  We have adult children who long ago completed their public school education in Grand Rapids.  But we will happily pay the modest tax increase here for the sake of the Pentwater community and, indeed, for the sake of the county, state, and national communities.

Michigan was a part of the Northwest Territory and was governed first by the Northwest Ordinances.  The ordinances of 1785 and 1787 established public education  as a primary goal of government.  One stated a number of lofty purposes to be undergirded by public education, and the other devoted a truly significant portion of the public wealth to support the schools. By it, every 16th section of every township was set aside for public education,  At a time when wealth was often best measured by property ownership, the devotion of that land to public education was an enormous commitment.  It provided opportunity for a young democracy to survive and to thrive.

Let’s continue our commitment in that same way today.  Our people, all of them, are this country’s greatest resource.  Investing in the very best public schools we can afford invests well in our future.

Jon VanderPloeg

Pentwater

 

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