Guest editorial: It’s time to invest in arts, athletics at PCHS | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: It’s time to invest in arts, athletics at PCHS

Gerd Holmsen Aguilar, Park CityI was an educator for 40 years, as a teacher of Kindergarten through eighth grade, an administrator, and an ESL specialist. I spent many years working with special needs students.

In regards to Proposition One, The School Bond, we can continue to kick the can down the road because there will always be something wrong with any plan; "not enough time," "not enough public input," "my fifth-grader can’t walk to school and has to ride a bus," "why are we spending money on athletics," or we can do the right thing and spend $10/month. The bottom line is simple — this district has not invested in infrastructure, including athletics, for many years and it’s time. This plan is thoroughly researched and has been discussed in depth with the right experts in the room for over 10 months and countless public discussions by district staff, administration, board members and yes, even the community.

It is troubling to me that we are letting a dozen or so naysayers who have not been part of the process control the conversation. I’m curious, if a team of people versed in master planning, facilities and education can’t figure it out in 10 months, how is it that a few citizens with limited knowledge of the district and its needs can have all the answers after looking at this for just a few months.

As a lifelong educator, I know school facilities have much to do with how students feel about themselves. My husband and I have attended the Sweet Heart Gala for over 10 years, so I have a soft spot for the jazz bands. Our music program is world class. In all my years in education I have never seen such a strong program, yet the performing arts hallways are strewn with expensive instruments because there is no room for proper storage. There are two non-soundproofed practice rooms, where most music programs of similar size have 8 – 12. There are two music classrooms to support burgeoning orchestra and band programs, as well as the addition of a marching band, jazz bands and a percussion band. Has this small group of people who criticize this plan looked at our facilities?

Another example is athletics — in the winter when snow prevents outside practice, our teams are practicing late into the evening. I have picked up my granddaughter from practice at Basin Recreation at 10 p.m. She then goes home, eats dinner and has to be at school by 7:30 a.m. the next morning.

We know that educating the whole child produces the best students, yet we are not providing the facilities to support this. Anyone telling us differently has not spent time in education.

The plan the district is presenting is comprehensive and takes into consideration not only growth for the next 10+ years, but provides infrastructure to support the changes we are looking for in our education system to take our district to the next level. I commend the School Board and the Superintendent’s foresight and courage in presenting these changes to the public and the hundreds of hours they are spending explaining why they are needed.

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So, it is time to give our students the facilities they deserve. It is not too soon; waiting makes it that more expensive to build. This is about our children and their education. I urge you to vote ‘Yes’ on Proposition One.