Letters: Students say 'Danke schön' to community
The student groups from Greifswald and Altentreptow, Germany, their teachers and I thank the communities of Park Rapids and Nevis for their friendly, welcoming attitudes. Thanks also to Rotary, RDO, Chamber, Terrapin Station, Native Harvest, Wonewok, Department of Fish and Game and Nevis School District for sponsoring activities.
I would also like to thank this community for 30 years of support for the German program at PRAHS and for trusting me with your children half way around the world. I'm sorry to let you down by not fighting more successfully for your kids.
Adding to the Spanish program, although there was no increased demand by students, and eliminating the German program, with 100 students requesting it for next year, cut a major option for students will cost the district more than continuing the present program. The issue is not how much the district will save by my retirement. It will save money no matter what; I've been here since the Studebaker!
It makes no fiscal sense to add two classes of Spanish 1 to have a place to shove all the kids who signed up for German 1, especially if the new teacher will be paid for three hours (half time). The figures given to support this option seemed skewed, adding every benefit possible to my salary and adding little or no benefits to the salary of an additional Spanish teacher. In my calculations, instead of $15,000, this option will cost $25,000, half of the salary + benefits for someone at BA + 5. Why pay more to give students fewer choices? What happened to diversity? Something needs to change, and it's not cutting programs and teachers!
The study of German culture teaches the necessity and responsibility for every citizen to stand up and question their leaders' decisions. The Germans have learned the hard way to think as individuals, to ask questions until they get clear, unbiased, rational answers.
I hope the students I have taught over the years have seen the value of open-mindedness, flexibility, creative problem-solving, and most importantly, caring about everyone in a global society. Auf Wiedersehen.
Linda Uscola, Menahga