John Ponikvar: Are we doing enough?


To the editor:

Reading the Saturday Morning Press editorial entitled “Sports Centered” brought to mind a question that I have had for a long time now. Can a school system be a reflection of a community?

Observations that I have made over the years are that the schools that have good sports programs also have good academics.

Those school systems strive for excellence in everything they do; it is a culture. Another observation is that those good schools are usually part of a community where parents, community leaders and industry work together to make the community the best it can be to the advantage of all; it is a culture.

I have to applaud the Moffat County School Board for hiring a superintendent who brings an outside and worldly perspective to our schools and community.

In turn, the superintendent hired an assistant superintendent that has energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard to improve the school system.

Will our culture support the changes that need to be made? The understanding I have is that funding for the sports programs at Moffat County High School is largely dependent on the sales of ads on the score boards in the gym and football field. Looking at the football field scoreboard, not one of the community’s largest employers from the energy industry is represented there.

Many communities close businesses and the community goes all out to support their students at the homecoming parade. In many communities, the fields and gyms are filled with community members supporting the school’s teams. In many communities, the high school classes take pride in their school and their class by constructing nice floats for the community to see in the parade.

Many communities have parents who want to make sure their kids are receiving the best education possible; these parents heavily participate in PAC or PTA meetings at their children’s school.

Many communities have as partners their main employers and industry supporting the schools and helping to make the community a better place to live. It is a culture.

I think that we all have to ask ourselves, are we doing all we can as individuals, businesses, and corporations to make our community a place of excellence? Do we accept and encourage mediocrity? Are schools like a lone wolf, or are they a reflection of a community culture? Should one community entity be held to standards higher than we expect of ourselves?

I have often thought that the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is a little overused, but is it? What culture does our community reflect? Are the schools that are so often critized a reflection of us?

If perfection is not strived for in every endeavor, excellence can never be attained.

John Ponikvar

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onewhocares 5 years, 6 months ago

Wow, what a terrific article John. This is one of the best, most well thought out articles I've read in a long time. You really connected the pieces together beautifully. Thanks for your insight and introspection-maybe it will help the kids still in school!!!!


males4 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm confused, onewhocares, you are a little conflicting in your response to Nikki McLeslies editorial and this one. Not really sure how you stand? Mr. Ponikvar, you have said it well!! We ALL have to work together as a community to be an effective, efficiently working team to gain the most out of our goal!


whereabouT 5 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Ponikivar, I am confused also. How does this relate to Mrs. McLeslies article? Never the less just to let you know the people in Moffat County all fall under different tax brackets some working many jobs to meet their house taxes. Maybe there is not enough time left in the day to attend meetings. So, we would hope that our taxes would be going towards employees that are highly educated and versed in this field. Why would the community need to intervene to create an equitable workplace? It is stated right in the Moffat County School Districts handbook that they are an equitable employer. Well, obviously not. Wouldn't we want the school to stand behind their statements primarily for the sake of keeping a positive environment for the staff to work in therefore it will reflect on to the students attitude?


whereabouT 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, I cannot believe the nerve of some people in the school system to advertise on the front page of the newspaper that they gave Dr. Petrone a raise, of course well earned. In a time of economic disaster when people are struggling to pay their house taxes so their children will receive an education, feed their families, find a job before their unemployment runs out, go without medical insurance, file bankruptcy, walk out of their homes.......we find it is necessary to give one individual a substantial raise. What about our classified and certified employees, will they get a $3000.00 raise? They are the backbone, after all they are the ones that are up at 5AM some at 4AM to run bus-routes and they get nothing. What about our children going without books not learning to read and do arithmeitic ? There is something so wrong with this picture. PEOPLE OF MOFFAT COUNTY WAKE UP!!!!!!! HAVE YOU NOT SEEN ENOUGH?????? We are all struggling and now we are going to give a $3000.00 pay raise to a person that makes over 100,0000 a year? This is the most absurd thing I have ever seen and then to see it on the front page like it was something to be proud of? Do not ask for another mill levy increase,,it is not happening....I refuse to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Evidentally, Mark Rydberg statement that the school was out of money and needed to have the mill levy increased was "CRY WOLF" I thought we were increasing the mill levy to benefit the children not the administration.


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