Verona school is deserving of support

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dear Editor:

I have a warm place in my heart for Verona School. During the years my wife has worked there, I have been on campus often, attended many school functions, and got well acquainted with the teachers, staff, administrators and some of the students and board members.

I have seen crises and challenges at the school, which have seemed to me unsolvable, but was gratified every time to see the school board, administrators and staff produce another victory by their sheer ingenuity and dedication, stretching their resources one more time to meet the needs of the students and community.

I cannot overstate my admiration and affection for the school and for all those who keep it functioning so well. The school is like an old friend to me, and like some of my other old friends, it is straining at the seams and a little shopworn here and there.

About 10 years ago school district citizens passed a bond issue to build a new elementary school and relieve overcrowding in the lower grades. That loan is paid off, but the student body continues to grow.

Now the old high school, built in 1933, not only is filled to more than capacity, but also woefully outmoded electrically and physically. Classrooms are small and overfull. The science, business, home economics (FACS), vocational agriculture and cafeteria facilities are so out of date they could be used for sets in a period movie. The disconnected arrangement of the campus is a security nightmare.

A group of Verona citizens have met for many hours during the past year studying the predicament, consulting with the board and devising a plan for improving facilities. As a result, the April 3 ballet will contain a $3.1 million bond issue to provide for construction of a new high school and some remodeling on present structures.

These days, $3.1 million will not solve all the physical plant problems of the school, but it will go a long way, and knowing the board and administration as I do, I guarantee you will get more bang for your buck than you can imagine possible, and a great bargain as well.

The average household will be paying only about $20 to $30 a year in additional taxes. A thriving school means a thriving community, so you will get good returns for your investment. Go by the school and ask questions and look at the plans.

I urge everyone to get out and support this bond issue. No, I have no personal stake. My wife will still be in one of the old buildings, and no salaries will be increased by the bond issue. I am writing out of the love and respect I have for the school and all the people who make it work.


Mark D. Meadows

Cassville, Missouri