Eleven years ago my husband Shawn and I pulled into the Kimball High School parking lot for the first time. We were driving a late 80s Taurus with no shocks. We got lost on our way from St. Paul because we had never been to Kimball before and Mapquest didn't exist (and I missed a couple of turns on the conventional map). Shawn was interviewing for the agriculture teacher job, and I was along for the ride. We didn't know it at the time, but that ride was the start of our future - the planting of new roots in a new community and the beginning of many new relationships.
We still have roots back in our home community of Barnesville. But our children are growing up here, and maybe some day their children will. We have established a small farm four miles south of Watkins, are members of Ostmark Lutheran Church, support the Kimball Cubs whenever possible, enroll Ace in Community Ed. activities, utilize the fine CubbieLand Daycare service, Shawn coaches eighth-grade football, and we can finally say that we are parents of a Kimball student. Ace is in kindergarten (and yes, we are paying $200 a month for him to be in the all day/every day program). We would like to consider ouselves truly part of this community. That is why I cannot accept the results of the Nov. 3 election in which voters rejected a meager tax increase to keep our schools viable. I cannot, and I will not accept that this community is okay with mediocrity. I cannot, and I will not accept that this community doesn't envision a brighter future for all of our children and that we, as adults, are unwilling to sacrifice perhaps $10 a month to help that happen.
The vast majority of people we have come to know in Kimball believe in the potential of this community, believe in the power of a strong school system, and believe in the opportunity that exists when kids are given the tools they need to be successful in this century. We so value the relationships we have forged in this community. Truly we feel we have been taken in and cared for by so many people who have treated us like family. There are a lot of reasons to feel good about Kimball. This recent rejection of the levy is not one of them. If you were one of the 519 people who voted "no" on Nov. 3, I challenge you to address whatever issues you have with the school system in a manner that will actually resolve the issue or at least bring you enough peace to let you move on toward a better future.
I will not stand by any longer. I plan to fight for this community and that absolutely means fighting for our schools. Ace is sitting in a kindergarten class of 24 as I write this. We pay $200 a month out of our own pocket for him to be in this classroom. Mr. Palm is doing a fine job of instructing this challenging class, but what could happen if the class had only 18 students? And it wasn't limited to only those who are able to pay the $200 month fee? And they had access to new technology tools to compliment their instruction? And there was more adult supervision on the playground to help model good behavior? And students could go to Phy. Ed. every day? What if? I sure would like to know. Get involved. Resolve your issues. My sons and hundreds of other kids are counting on us.