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Letters to the Editor - Oct. 12

October 12, 2012

Barbara Ingram School a treasured memory for graduate

To the editor:

I am writing in response to an article I read recently, Washington County Board of Education hopeful describes her experience as an educator. While I respect and admire Ms. Melissa Williams for her efforts as an educator and her dedication to the students of Washington County, there is one thing I read that I believe is a misguided opinion: her view of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. To quote the article:

“Williams questioned the decision to open an arts school in 2009, saying it’s hard to justify spending for an arts school even in the best of fiscal times and questioning whether Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is ‘really providing the best high school education.

A few years ago, before the school ever existed, one needed to look no further than the plethora of studies, which show the benefits of arts education for students of all disciplines, if they wished to see for themselves the justification of an arts high school in our county.

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That was apparent before the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts opened. Now, as they say, “the proof is in the pudding,” as we can look to the school’s sterling academic record for justification. According to www.schooldigger.com:

  • The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts performed better in 2011 than 99.5 percent of high schools in Maryland.
  • 100 percent of Barbara Ingram students passed their Algebra HSAs in 2011, as opposed to 94.5 percent in the district and 83.6 percent in the state.
  •  Biology scores reflect similar numbers (95.6 percent, 90 percent, and 81.3 percent for the school, district and state, respectively), as do English scores (100 percent, 87.8 percent and 81.6 percent).

It is there for all to see that students at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts are performing better than the rest of the county, and this trend does not stop at graduation. For example, I would like to point to my own experiences as a Barbara Ingram graduate, class of 2011. After a very positive and rewarding experience as a student in the instrumental music program, I graduated with a 4.09 GPA, and went on to Shepherd University, where I’m currently studying music composition. I was accepted at three out of the four colleges I applied to, and was awarded large scholarships at each. Once at Shepherd, I was able to apply the time management skills and work ethic that I developed at Barbara Ingram to continue performing well, earning a 4.0 GPA for the entirety of my time here so far. I firmly believe that if I had not gone to the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, the transition to college would have been much more difficult; as it is, I was able to bridge the gap without stumbling or falling.

The time I spent at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts remains some of the most treasured time of my life, and I would hate to see similar opportunities snatched away from equally or more deserving students.

Ian Karraker
Boonsboro



Exchange clubs urge: Speak up about child abuse

To the editor:

The Washington County Parent Child Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse operates with the support of

The Antietam Exchange Club and The Hagerstown Exchange Club. The center, at 998 Potomac St. in Hagerstown, has advocated for breaking the chain of child abuse for more than 25 years. Child abuse prevention is a major initiative of The National Exchange Club.

The recent child abuse scandal at Penn State University and this week’s sentencing of Jerry Sandusky is a grim reminder of the clear and present danger of child abuse in all our communities — including Washington County.

Our organizations and the Parent-Child Center are constantly striving to educate families about the importance to the welfare and safety of our children of proper parenting.

To learn more about the programs offered by the Parent-Child Center, call Millie Lowman at 301-791-2224, or contact any Exchange Club member.

Donations to fund the operation of the Parent-Child Center are needed and may be made at the center’s website, hagerstownparent-childcenter.com.

Michael J. Skubon
Representing the public relations committees
of the Hagerstown and Antietam Exchange Clubs

Living in Funkstown is ‘truly a blessing’

To the editor:

I have read many comments lately about the changes in Hagerstown. I agree that most have not been for the better.

My husband and I grew up here and have lived in many parts of the country. Being back in Funkstown is truly a blessing.

Nothing beats living in a small town. Funkstown has many community activities, including Old Tyme Christmas, that everyone can enjoy. The fire department makes fantastic chicken and beef sandwiches once a month. In the evening, you can enjoy the ringing of church bells.

For us, the park is the best part. It is kept in excellent condition at all times. I remember many family reunions at the pavilion. I have taken my sons there as little boys and just this summer was able to enjoy it with our grandson. Our dogs enjoy their  morning walks around the park.

I want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who works to make Funkstown a very special place to live.

Linda Moser
Funkstown

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