Tom Ptach: Giving future generations the opportunity for a quality education
Twenty-seven years ago, me, my wife and 4-month-old son moved to Steamboat. Cindy and I had been living in Vail for 10 years, and while we enjoyed Vail, we knew it wasn’t the community we wanted to raise Scott in. At the time, we knew Steamboat was a great place, but had no inkling of how strongly it valued a quality education and how significant that would be in shaping Scott into the wonderful human being he is today.
Steamboat has doubled in size during our 27 years here. Over that time, when needed, our community has consistently assured district funding was available for quality teachers, facilities and services, guaranteeing the opportunity for a superior education for Scott’s generation. Well like it or not, we’re once again at the crossroads where we can decide if this legacy will be assured for future generations of our students.
Before you in this election are three ballot issues requesting funding for an investment in educators, staff and the maintenance of small class sizes, an investment assuring funds are available for the physical operation and maintenance of a new school and an investment in all students and schools — preschool to 12th grade — and alleviation of overcrowding with a new pre-K through eighth-grade school at Steamboat II.
The district is not frivolous in this request. Over the past several years, they have rigorously engaged the community and professionals to diligently come up with a plan that provides solutions for the fact that our school buildings are full right now, and demographic trends are going to make it untenable. But quality, appropriately-sized and maintained facilities are only half the puzzle. The other half is assuring the team delivering the quality education we so dearly value is made up of exemplary educators and staff. One without the other just doesn’t work.
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It is my sincere belief that Steamboat’s sterling education legacy cannot be sustained without the passage of 4A, 4B and 4C this November. I encourage you to vote “yes” on these measures and assure that future generations have the same opportunity for a quality education that Scott did.
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