Letter: Consider supporting the referendum

Editor,

I am proud to say I have been a resident of Westfield for nearly 20 years. During that time, I’ve seen our community grow, struggle and grow again, thriving and surviving through good times and bad, the way all great communities do.

It was my privilege to serve as Westfield Washington Schools superintendent for 19 years.  I am now working at the state level on many of the same issues Westfield schools face.  I can tell you, without hesitation, that Westfield has the most passionate, talented team of educators I have ever seen.  To a person, I was impressed and encouraged every day by their creativity and willingness to go the extra mile to help a student grow.

This November, you are being asked to consider supporting the continuation of a referendum we originally approved in 2010 at a rate lower than what we approved at that time. Funds from this referendum will help support the great work happening in Westfield classrooms. We have seen tremendous success and recognition of our students and programs despite the fact that Westfield Washington School District ranks among the bottom 10 of 380 Indiana school districts in per-pupil operating support, which is determined by the state.

This referendum puts Westfield Schools in the middle of the pack in terms of financial support per student and levels the playing field.  Under Dr. Grate’s dynamic leadership and with the passage of the referendum Nov. 8, I know we will have even greater success moving forward for our schools and our community.

Sincerely.

Dr. Mark Keen

Former superintendent, Westfield Washington Schools