Letter: For education, for Fisk

I have two sons happily attending Gastineau Community Public Elementary School. Their teachers are welcoming, enthusiastic and caring. As I walk down the hall to pick them up, I am impressed by the students’ pastel artwork, “I feel” poems and counting math projects proudly hung on the walls. Each Friday morning community is built as the commons echoes with gleeful voices and strumming during the weekly school sign-a-long. This is a public school thriving, but also struggling. Although the students and staff are producing work to be proud of and forming great relationships the class sizes are rising. The support staff is shrinking. The amount expected of the teachers is increasing. The budget for basic things like photo coping and paper supplies is decreasing. When I recently volunteered in one of their classrooms, I was reminded how challenging teaching is. The class had around 23 students in it that day and the spread in ability level, maturity level and interest was amazing. Our teachers and school staff deserve and need all the support we can give them.

This is why I was thankful this past May when the majority of the Juneau assembly voted to fully fund our schools. The vote meant that class sizes would not go up for this school year. There were two people however, who did not vote for fully fund schools – Mayor Merrill Sanford and assembly member Jerry Nankervis. On October 6, Election Day, I plan to vote for candidates who put public education as a top priority including mayoral candidate Greg Fisk. I hope you join me in voting for education and voting Greg Fisk for Mayor.

Lisa EaganLagerquist

Mother, former teacher and voter