Editor:

I understand the school board is making important decisions this week regarding how to reconcile the Park City School District's drastic budgetary shortfall. I know the board is considering budget cuts that will have the least amount of impact on our students. One consideration involves replacing professionally trained school librarians with library aides. As they make this decision, I hope the board considers the important role trained librarians play in the education of our students. School librarians are an integral part of a child's education, from kindergarten to graduation. Librarians develop lesson plans based on each grade level's core curriculum pulling books from the shelves in anticipation of class visits, often with individual student's interests and needs in mind. They teach our children how to use a library and how to develop crucial research skills. Most importantly librarians foster a lifelong love of reading, creative expression, and guide our students to the intellectual freedom that awaits them between the pages of a book. Please, please keep our librarians in our school libraries. Librarians do much more than shelve and check out books.

Kirsten Nilsson

Youth Services Librarian, Summit County Library


Take advantage of our local resources

Editor:

We had a great time on our field trip to Swaner EcoCenter in Newpark. Our instructors, Andrew, Sally, Gina and Ryan, taught us many new things like: how animals live in the winter; snowflake science; animal adaptations; and animal tracking. The EcoCenter is an excellent place for the whole family to learn and it's right here in Park City! It's also a great place to go for a snowshoe tour. When you're done, visit the exhibits inside and learn about our natural environment. Thanks so much for a fun and educational day!

Dagny Brickson, Maddie Schiller, Lily Starley and Victor Wang

and the whole third-grade class at Parley's Park Elementary School


Teachers matter; treat them like they do

Editor:

As a Park City School District (PCSD) employee, a parent of three children attending school in the district, and a volunteer at Park City High School, I am very disturbed by the attitude and disrespect being shown to teachers in our schools.

Listening to school board members on KPCW talk about firing teachers whenever they want and reading the criticisms against teachers here in The Park Record makes me wonder why leaders in our community dislike teachers so much. Because of an climate of retribution, teachers don't feel safe to express themselves or to speak out in defense of the job they are doing. So they have to stay silent. But I can tell you teachers in PCSD are deeply hurt and angered by the assumptions, criticisms and judgments thrown their way.

Who do you want in front of the classroom? Do you want experts who are passionate, motivated and focused on their jobs or do you want angry and hurt teachers who feel disenfranchised and so morally devastated that they wonder why they try so hard. I know teachers who tell prospective colleagues not to come to Park City because it's not a professional environment to teach. I know teachers who counsel ex-students who come back to visit them to not go into education. And if they do, to not come back to Park City. Bitterness is what is being bred in the hearts of some of your teachers.

Did school board members Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Hickey make their millions on their own? Somewhere along the line they had good teachers who taught them how to read, learn, think, and be successful. Teachers matter. Start treating them like they do. If you know of a teacher who has made a difference for your son or daughter, tell them so, because they aren't hearing anything good right now.

Richard Herr

Park City


'Free your mind and the rest will follow'

Editor:

We would like to extend an exuberant "Welcome Home" to Sarah Hendrickson, who freed her mind and the rest did follow as she flew into the air and landed a win in the first ever Women's Ski Jumping World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway on December 3, 2011, less than 2 weeks after finishing her junior year at the Winter Sports School in Park City. She then went on to be a dominating force during the 2012 World Cup season and returned to Norway just last week to capture the Overall World Cup crystal globe in Oslo. After hitting the books this past summer at The Winter Sports School she then stamped herself in the history books in an emerging sport!

What few may know about Sarah is that she also attains excellence in the classroom. She finished her junior year with straight A's and, yes, freed her mind for a winter of training, travel and competition. Sarah, we are so proud of you and all that you represent to other dedicated students and aspiring women athletes as well as the sport of women's ski jumping. We are excited to have played a role in your success and ability to remain in Europe and Asia for 10 weeks straight. You are truly a role model in and out of the classroom and an inspiration to us all.

We look forward to seeing you next month to hit the books for your senior year.

Yes, time, too, flies.

Stacey Wooley

Director of Institutional Advancement, The Winter Sports School in Park City