Life in small town America

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#1 – What I have learned as a teacher

During the next 43 weeks, I will celebrate my 43 years of teaching with some classroom memories and thoughts about education. Follow along with me as I reminisce.

I will share that my first year of teaching was far from home – 10 hours of driving in the city of Indianapolis. I taught junior English, journalism, and 10th grade Bible.

Also, I advised the Trailblazer Times at Indianapolis Baptist High School, which no longer exists. It was a rather large private school for the time. One of the great memories I have from there is taking my kids to the Indianapolis Star for a field trip. When we got inside, we waited for about 10 minutes to go on our tour. Finally, the tour guide asked the students where their teacher was and one of the students said “She is right here.” It was good to be a young teacher.

Wow, time has flown and I  have loved every minute of teaching. Still love teaching kids to write. All kids should have a high school student publications experience. I am glad I did and glad I was able to give kids that experience for 34 of the last 43 years.


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A Tribute to a Fireman

Today we share time with the family of Brian Trimble, Fuller Hose fire fighter, who will be laid to rest tomorrow as the result of a pedestrian-vehicle accident. Brian’s laughter and smile will be missed. Thank you, Brian, for giving of your time and self to protect our community. Thank you for sharing your family, your talents and your business with our community. You go to rest as a hero and we salute you for giving your life in your prime to serve others. Rest in peace.

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Cherry Festival 2012

Cherry Festival 2012. Great brunch today at the Whitmore block party brunch! 30 years, what a tradition! Hundreds – literally – hundreds of folks there.

Firefighter’s parade – one of the best in many ever! Watched with brother, sister-in-law and nephew and then had great dinner with them. All so terrific. Family rules!

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Silently, it comes!

Cancer. Silently, it comes to skewer those who dare to laugh and love life. How often I have seen it in these past six months.  Who will be the next one to crash with the agony of its power over flesh? How can we see the death of cancer for the next generation? What can we do to help the wounded and weary who face this terrible monster?

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Why do we balance budgets on the backs of children

In 38 years of teaching, I have never seen such irresponsibility in politicians as I see now. You cannot balance a state budget or a local school budget on the backs of children. As a school board member myself, I grieve every conversation that includes furloughing great teachers. What happens to the budget when there are no more teachers to lay off?

Teachers are the most precious human capital in any state, so why won’t we help them keep jobs so they can do the job they love.

We need to think creatively and ask all stakeholders to helps us think of creative solutions for our schools’ budget problems.

State representatives, will you give up your state retirements or your pay raises for education in Pennsylvania.  I do not think you will.  I recently heard from a friend in South Carolina that a 32 year-old assistant for former Gov. Rendell is working in SC because that is where he is RETIRED on a Pennsylvania retirement.

This is despicable in light of the fact that I might have to vote to furlough teachers who have given the children of this community such a great education.

There used to be an ad that said SAVE THE CHILDREN.  We can do that, but we need to SAVE THE TEACHERS WHO SAVE THE CHILDREN.

The Children’s Defense Fund states that in 2011 that the Pennsylvania annual expenditure per prisoner is $30,668. Pennsylvania’s annual expenditure per public school pupil is $10,723. This means schools all across the state will furlough GREAT teachers and HIRE prison guards. WHAT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG with this picture??????

Voters, speak up for the CHILDREN AND THEIR TEACHERS.