Letter to the Editor

Looking backwards makes the future look oh so clear

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On a Thursday night in October of 2010, what began as a routine meeting between the WRV school board and the administration, ended by igniting a fire storm never before seen, nor forecast, by this school corporation. This one night, this one vote, this one single event set in motion a divisive conflict that would last nearly three years. Many were astonished by the tone and the severity of the conflict, and had the conflict not been resolved, by means never imagined, the WRV school corporation as we know it would have been left in ashes and financial ruin.

"Looking back," a motion was made that night to hire MGT America. MGT was tasked to do a feasibility study of the corporation's three schools, at a cost of $48,000. When in fact, hidden from the public, was the administration's and a few board member's personal agenda to close the Worthington and Lyons elementary schools. The ensuing weeks ushered in one community meeting after another. Each of the three communities making up the WRV family of schools held their own separate meeting. Although these meetings were benign in their purpose and their intent their bias was ever present.

Nonetheless, the final results of the questionnaire were "oh so clear," 75% of those in attendance favored keeping all three of the WRV family of schools open. Following the

Administration's unwillingness to acknowledge and accept the results of the questionnaire, the communities became vocal and demanded to be recognized. My good friend Steve Campbell stated it accurately and passionately when he said: "The taxpayers of this district would willingly approve a small tax levy in order to keep their schools open...But, it will be a cold day in hell before they will ever allow them to be closed and moved to another location."

Steve Campbell was right, as he usually was. These are our schools and we as a community should be able to maintain control over our children's education and future. I, for one, am not willing to delegate that responsibility to another county school, east or west. Right now I have a choice about the "future." I am voting in favor of the referendum. Mr. Hacker has brought new life and a renewed spirit to our campus. He is a tireless worker and is not self serving. I trust him. And I don't trust many. Mr. Hacker has given us what was withheld from us on that autumn night in 2010. He has given us a chance to decide our future, and to me it is oh so clear what needs to be done. Vote yes for the WRV referendum and SOS.

WRV patron,

Mark R. Buckley, DDS