John Ponikvar: Are we doing enough?
October 22, 2011
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.