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We’re doing what’s best for students

My Side
Mike Wells

One of the simplest, yet most profound, lessons I learned in my graduate program in school administration was that whenever faced with a difficult decision, you should do what is best for the students and you’ll never be wrong.

As I follow the letters to the editor expressing concerns about the plans for the new Glenwood Springs High School, I am struck by the absence of any concern about what is best for our students. I believe that meeting the educational needs of our current students, as well as their children, and their children’s children, must be the No. 1 priority of our community. Simply put, the children of Glenwood Springs deserve to go to school in a modern, well-equipped educational facility. Anything less would be unacceptable.

More than two years ago, the school board was concerned about the physical and educational aspects of all of the facilities in the Re-1 School District. As a result, it undertook a yearlong study of facility needs throughout the district. The result was a facility master plan, based on both a thorough examination of all facilities, as well as extensive public input. This plan was adopted by the board of education and became the framework for the November 2004 bond issue.

There was considerable debate about the plan prior to the election. Included in this discussion was the decision to expand GSHS by purchasing neighboring properties. The newspaper was filled with letters to the editor and editorials about all aspects of the plan. When the plan came before the voters in November 2004 it was overwhelmingly ratified.

With the approval of the citizenry, the school district has been moving forward to design and build new and improved school facilities in Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs. To ensure accountability to the voters, a bond oversight committee comprised of citizens from all three Re-1 communities, has met regularly to make certain that all projects and monies are being utilized in compliance with the promises made during the bond election. Yet, more than eight months after the election, some people still refuse to accept the will of the voters.

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It is now time to move forward, as a community, with the plans for the new Glenwood Springs High School. It is time to reaffirm the clear statement that in Glenwood Springs we put the well being of our children above all else.

Mike Wells recently retired after more than 20 years as principal of Glenwood Springs High School.


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