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Letters to the editor - 6/8

June 08, 2004

Here, anythingis possible



To the editor:

Why are the rural roads so poor? Washington County Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said the county is "being strip-developed to death," and as those homes are built it is taking a toll on the county's rural roads (The Daily Mail, May 4). Anything is possible.

Pleasant Valley School certainly qualifies as a rural school and its projected enrollment next year is less than its enrollment this year, so I don't believe this part of the county is "being strip-developed to death." However, the rural roads in this part of the county are certainly poor or worse.

Perhaps the rural roads were built to standards that were appropriate for horse and buggy travel and the standards were never upgraded, and perhaps the repairs to rural roads were poorly done and poorly supervised.

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Before we blame the victims for the state of the rural roads, maybe we should take a closer look at our department of public works. In this county, anything is possible.

Daniel Moeller

Rohrersville




Headlines were unkind



To the editor:

The front-page headlines of June 3, "Speller stumbles," seemed a bit harsh. The fact that a local student participated in a national contest is indeed news worthy. However, something a little more positive might have been appropriate and serve to encourage young students to excel.

After all, how many of us have ever competed on a national level, and how many of us could have even attempted to spell a word like oligodactylism!

Headlines on page two which were equally negative, "Speller: Student ousted," makes the student sound like some sort of criminal.

I wonder how the writer of the headlines could not realize what a blow to the self esteem a headline like this would be to any individual, especially that of a young teenager. While I do not know Blaine Ford, I think the fact that he participated in the National Spelling Bee is indeed an honor, one worthy of positive headlines.

Barbara Motter

Rohrersville




Keep our special teacher



To the editor:

Regarding the reduction in teaching staff at Pleasant Valley Elementary, I would like to address the elected officials, administrators and educators who are responsible for this unfortunate decision.

Now that split classes are no longer being considered, the latest proposal is to have fifth grade taught for half a day by the very capable and beloved kindergarten teacher, whose expertise is 25 years worth of early childhood education. The other half-day will be filled by whichever special education teacher is available on a given day....teacher du jour!

In this era of "No Child Left Behind," how can you possibly justify such a disjointed scenario? How sad that a financial and political decision will ultimately leave an entire fifth grade class behind.

The various proposals that the administration devised to compensate for the staff shortage are all inadequate. This particularly nutty arrangement holds no teacher accountable for an already challenging curriculum. It provides no continuity in the classroom lives of our children. How will they thrive in a ping-pong environment? Teachers and parents agree that it is a recipe for disaster.

We have been told that this group of fourth-graders is among the brightest and most creative to come through Pleasant Valley. Are we going to squander their talents and let them sink to the middle or below? Let them flounder and drop their test scores as they head to middle school?

Surely there is a way to reverse a misguided and very unpopular decision. Please, please replace our teacher at Pleasant Valley.

Laurie Ballow

Hagerstown




Lawmakers were good hosts



To the editor:

It has been far too long since two very wonderful individuals have been recognized for service above and beyond the "call of duty." A "special thanks" must go to Sen. Donald Munson and Del. Robert McKee for making our fourth-grade field trip to Annapolis unforgettable.

Thank you for making the trip all the way to Annapolis to give us a personal tour of the Senate and House of Delegates. We were very excited to participate in the mock debate session and sit in the actual seats of the senators and representatives at the State House. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity helped us to see how our state government really operates.

We'll never forget how generous you were with your time and expertise.

The Fourth-Graders at Paramount Elementary

and their teachers Mrs. Stoner, Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Palmer

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