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Letter to the Editor: We all use and need a high school we can be proud of

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There’s no more iconic, central, and important building in a town than the local high school. By far, it is our most valuable public asset.

You could live here for decades and never visit our city hall, the library, police station, fire hall, or municipal court—all modern and essential buildings.  But all of us use and benefit from our high school.  And folks, ours is in bad shape. Trust me.

A football or volleyball game.  A play or musical.  A town hall or public meeting.  We all use and need a high school we can be proud of.  The Mutchlers homeschool our children, but we still enjoy use of the schools for music, art, sports, and theatre. A few times a year our church rents the FHS auditorium for dance recitals, and that’s just our connections with the school.

For Ferndale to continue to be a quality first-class city, we can’t continue to send our kids to an aging collection of disconnected ill-equipped buildings we call Ferndale High.

Sure, we can keep patching and repurposing, but that’s incredibly expensive, a poor use of public funds, and might barely give us another decade or so. Now is the time to replace.

I join working families in Ferndale who want schools that support high-quality pathways for college, career and technical education. If we are serious about preparing our students for the 21st century jobs, we cannot educate them in a 20th century building. 

Our school educators and professionals in Ferndale are a talented group of individuals and I am proud of their success. In 2018, 85.7 % of students graduated on time at Ferndale High School – the highest in school history. That’s a credit to our hardworking teachers – and they did so despite being hamstrung by freezing temperatures when the boiler would falter, a leaky roof and aging equipment. 

We can do better.

I write this piece as we look towards a Special Election in Ferndale on February 12th. During this election, my neighbors and friends in Ferndale will have the opportunity to invest in our students by approving the Ferndale School Bond Proposal. Supporting public education means investing in facilities. In Ferndale, it is time for that investment.

Please join me in voting to approve the Ferndale School Bond in February.

Jon Mutchler
City of Ferndale Mayor

Letters to the Editor submitted to My Ferndale News are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of My Ferndale News.

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