A challenge to be a leader
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King had a dream, a vision of an America he wanted for all. He had a dream then, but also knew his dream may not come to pass during his time on earth. He faced the realities of "then" and still chose to step up and out as a leader of many, and be a voice for the voiceless. He knew the reality of "then," but refused to tolerate it, refused to give in; knowing it would be years, maybe even decades before his dreams of America and all his works would come to fruition, if ever.
A true leader is brave. Willing to rise up and speak out for what they believe in. Ready to face each challenge head on, broad shoulders, tough skin, never wavering. Not afraid of what others think or say, they do what is right, not concerned with naysayers, forging on no matter the circumstance. They are willing to create paths even in the midst of darkness, not knowing where they might lead, in search of light.
A true leader is a visionary and labors for the greater good of others. A true leader is willing to sacrifice, presses forward and does not lose sight of the vision. They maintain passion for the cause and continually put things in perspective for those who are unable to see, building on the foundation that is. They bring people together as one, find common ground and create buy-in.
A true leader is impactful. A true leader not only stirs the emotions but wells it up within you and brings them to a state of overflowing. They not only inspire because of their actions and articulations but by who they have chosen to be. The very name causes you to have emotion. You cannot mention the name of Dr. King and not be inspired by his works.
I challenge you as I challenge myself. I challenge you to be brave, to have a vision and be inspired. I challenge you to be impactful. I challenge you to be a leader among the many.
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
BRIAN D. SCHWINDT,
Consider other district needs
Members of USD 457 Board of Education, let me thank you for your service to our district. You don't get paid, and you take a lot of guff from the community, but I believe you have the best interests of the students of this district in mind, and are at least somewhat mindful of the taxpayers, in your decisions.
At the BOE meeting, March 5, you decided to finish the football stadium, and while I don't agree with the decision, I heard your reasons, and will now move on. The next big-ticket item to come from bond money is the purchase of 2,000 iPads for high school students. I am asking you not to make that purchase. Dr. Atha has said many times concerning the purchase, "it is not a matter of if, but when." I don't agree with him. Yes, it is imperative students learn to navigate and effectively use technology to survive in this world, but the taxpayers of this district shouldn't be responsible for the cost. The board already approved, and paid for, with excess bond money, $1,600,000 to equip the high school with many forms of technology, all for the students to use. Now, the proposal has been made to spend another $1,042,937 of excess funds, from the borrowed money, to buy an individual iPad for each student. The people pressing this issue want kids to be able to take the gadgets home. If the students are taking them home, to be used at home, then parents should buy them.
According to Dr. Atha, there will be approximately $1,400,000 left, after the football stadium is finished. May I suggest you not spend any more money, until you know the total amount needed in order to finish Abe Hubert Elementary School and Horace Good Middle School? You have already miscalculated the restructuring costs and neither school has been completed. I also suggest you wait and see how long it will be before a second entryway is needed, leading into the new Garden City High School. I believe that truly will be a matter of "when, not if." I am pretty sure the two-lane, eastbound, left turn, from Mary Street is the only one of its kind in Garden City, and I wonder how many high school-aged drivers are accustomed to negotiating that kind of turn. I ask you to think about these suggestions, because you will not get any more money from the taxpayers. Of course, it is your decision, but please make it very carefully.