Submitted by Natalie Verness
Like many parents in the St. Michael-Albertville School District, I’m passionate about making sure our kids receive the best education possible. My husband and I chose to live here because of the quality of our local school and we want to continue to see the school district and our students thrive.
That’s why it’s absolutely critical for members of the STMA community to vote “yes” on the STMA bond referendum.
The bond referendum is a common sense proposal that’s vital for our kids. Making sure we have secure school entrances, updated classroom technology, and the appropriate amount of space for classroom learning and after-school activities are all key components to the success of a student’s education.
Certainly, there’s been some discussion about the proposed facilities for the after-school and community programs. I am enthusiastic about how these facilities will supplement and enhance the education of our students.
As adults, we know that not all life lessons are learned in a classroom or in a textbook. We learn them by interacting with others and working toward a common goal. For school-age kids, after-school programs help to facilitate that part of their education. After-school activities help to foster discipline, teach kids how to work together as a team, and provide motivation. When students are on a team, they make new friends and also learn how to deal with people who may not be as friendly. Still, they learn to work together, win together, and lose together.
Frankly, many kids who may not be a “Straight A” student can also find meaning and fulfilment in after-school programs – whether it’s athletics, fine arts, or clubs. These programs also help them to figure out how to balance their different priorities in life – family, friends, academics, and activities. It’s also an opportunity for kids to find their outlet, achieve some success, and develop the confidence they need as they begin planning what they’ll do after graduation.
While some have questioned the need for the construction and changes to some of the sports facilities, I believe they’re completely necessary. Families shouldn’t be driving over to communities over 30 miles away to gets their kids to and from a practice on a weekday evening. That takes away time from family time, especially when you’re balancing the needs of multiple kids.
Activities, especially sports, bring communities together. Our family loves to watch football, basketball, and other games to cheer on our town! By making these needed changes to our facilities, we can bring the community together and keep our financial resources within STMA by not having to pay for space at facilities in other communities. This will also allow our local restaurants and stores to benefit from hosted tournaments in our town.
I’m voting “yes” because I want my children to continue to be able to have a well-rounded education. We can provide them that opportunity by voting supporting the bond referendum. You can vote early at STMA Middle School West (Door A) between 7 AM and 4 PM. Election Day voting will also take place at STMA Middle School West (Door A) from 7 AM to 8 PM on Tuesday, February 7.
Join me in voting yes for STMA!
Verness is an Albertville resident