Letter to the editor: It’s important to teach the basics but also give lessons for life | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: It’s important to teach the basics but also give lessons for life

Bruce Menzel

Sorry, this is going to be a little mushy. I went to the Summit School District Board of Education candidate forum Oct. 18. There, I was impressed with Toby Babich’s thoughtful remarks. I was touched by Manuela Michaels’ personal story. From the remainder of the 4 For the Kids slate, I heard a lot about going back to educational basics, budgetary stuff, parental input, etc. I didn’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling from them. It was more like the description of a military mission.

Here’s the mushy part: I grew up in a smallish Wisconsin city, where my father was an elementary school teacher and principal. Only after his death did I come to understand how much he was appreciated, indeed beloved, in the community — not just for his teaching role but for other contributions, as well. He had high standards for educational quality. He believed not only in teaching basics but in giving lessons for life to his students to prepare them for good citizenry. He had a passion for whole-person education. He lived a life that set a fine example for his colleagues, students and other citizens. When accepting one of his many awards, he said he regarded his extracurricular service activities as just part of his responsibilities as a school teacher.

Listening to the other school board candidates at the forum — Chris Guarino, Kate Hudnut, Johanna Kugler and Lisa Webster — I had flashbacks to my dad. In my mind’s eye, I could see him saying the same things they expressed. I sensed they would apply their shared philosophy, passion and experience as school board members. Please don’t blow off this upcoming off-year election. It’s important — not just “for the kids” but for our entire community. Please vote for Guarino, Hudnut, Kugler and Webster.

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