During this series of articles during the month of January, I would like to take a look at La Porte City and point out just a few things that we should be incredibly thankful for.  Individually these things might not be special just to La Porte City, but when you combine them all together and place them in one city, then it all adds up to make our city a very special place.
This week I would like to focus on Union Community Schools. First let me share with you some of my experience with schools. My father is a retired superintendent of schools and as his career progressed, I experienced schools in Oklahoma and four locations in Colorado. Also, one of my sisters is a retired grade school teacher and her husband is a retired superintendent as well. Needless to say, when the family gets together, we “talk school.”
I have taught Junior Achievement in high school and was an adjunct professor at Drake University. I have two master’s degrees and one is in Adult Education and I used to help lead one of the largest corporate universities in the U.S. In addition, I have experienced schools as I lived in five different states. As I have traveled, I have experienced schools in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, China, and Africa. And after all of this experience, I can only say, “WOW!” when looking at our school district. My friends, if you think that what we have in our community when it comes to a school system is the way it is everywhere else, then you really need to get out and see for yourselves.
Our school system is nothing short of a miracle. They excel in academics, sports, music, drama, and all of the extracurricular activities. They excel in supporting at-risk kids, those who are hungry, those with tough situations in their lives, and those with learning disabilities. And the amazing thing is that the people who work in our school system, including teachers, administration, coaches, secretaries, janitors, the food service employees, nurses and retired school employees don’t just stay in the school system and then go home at night. Instead, they contribute all over our community as the volunteer for activity after activity.
Personally, we see the impact of their skills at St. Paul United Methodist Church, as most of our Sunday school teachers are current or retired school teachers and they also serve in leadership positions on committees. We simply would not be able to do all that we do without their expertise and commitment.
I know that we have a few people that the school system just cannot satisfy, but I want to say to all of those involved in the day-after-day-after-day job of educating our children, “Well done good and faithful servant.”