It’s time to start replacing

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Editor’s note: The last issue to write letters to the editor concerning the school bond election is Thursday, Oct. 3 . If new claims about the bond issue are brought up in an Oct. 3 letter, letters directly addressing those claims and only those claims will be allowed in the Sunday, Oct. 6 issue. We would like to remind our readers that the word limit for letters to the editor is 450 words as stated in our policy printed on every opinion page.

It’s time to start replacing

Dear Editor,

Just over 11 years ago my family and I made the decision to move back to Glendive after 13 years in North Dakota. It wasn’t an easy decision, in that my husband commuted to Bismarck for the next 7 years. The portion of our decision that was easy was that from a personal standpoint, we were now close to family, back “home,” and most importantly our two boys would be educated in the Glendive school system.

Now I am in my 9th year as a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson School. I consider it an honor and privilege to serve the students and families of this community. I get to work everyday with some of the most talented and dedicated administrators, teachers, paras, cooks, custodians, secretaries and bus drivers you could find. I do not just speak of Jefferson. Every single school in this district is filled with top-notch people. They serve the students and the families of this community with pride every day.

The people who work in our buildings do so with love and compassion for the students. This is what makes our schools great. School buildings tend to find themselves “stuck in time.” When students leave a building for the final time, they only remember what it was like at that age and time. That may have been upwards of 70 years ago. Time passes, and buildings age but in the memory of students, nothing has changed. They still think of the school at the time and age of their attendance. Even though students move on, the teachers in those buildings do not. Every year they return to the same heating/air issues, outdated plumbing and electrical issues. Currently, despite the efforts of electricians, Jefferson has a classroom with two banks of lights that have not worked for over a year. Aged roofs, plumbing and electrical systems plague our buildings and interfere with educating the students. Our buildings have been well maintained beyond the internal infrastructure’s intended life. The reality is these systems are so old that the parts to repair them are no longer even manufactured.

When we build a new road, we expect to do maintenance on that road. We fill holes and patch to keep the road usable. But eventually it doesn’t make sense to keep filling holes. It’s time for the road to be replaced. This where we find ourselves with our aging buildings in Glendive. It’s time to start replacing, for the health and wellbeing of our current and future students.

I am grateful to live and teach in Glendive and grateful for everyone who supports our schools!

Amy Hopfauf