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Canfield grad encourages levy vote

April 13, 2011
The Town Crier
Dear Editor:

The quality of education I received at Canfield Local Schools has profoundly shaped who I am and enabled me to find success in my adult life. In addition to academic content, I was taught analytical problem-solving skills, compassion for others, and the responsibilities of citizenship in a participatory democracy. One of those responsibilities is supporting the schools in one’s community.

I am now a professional educator, and therefore have a dual perspective of district. I not only look back through the rosy lens of nostalgia, but also with the critical lens of someone who has an advanced degree in the education field. Throughout college and graduate school, I became increasingly more impressed and aware that I had an incredibly effective k-12 schooling experience. In a world where so many communities have extreme difficulties educating their youth, Canfield has been doing it right for decades.

The quality of personnel in the school district is the most effective and crucial element, and one that will simply be impossible to keep at its current level if the levy does not pass. Teachers, administrators, bus drivers, educational support professionals -– each and every one of them had an important role in my education. As my career has moved up through three different school districts (each more desirable to work in and difficult to find employment in than the previous one), I have constantly reflected on the educational values instilled in me prior to graduating from high school -- even more than the professors I had in college, I think if my Canfield teachers. Mrs. Kerpsack. Mrs. Pesce. Mrs. Amon. Mrs. Armbrecht. I can still go back and list every teacher I had from kindergarten through 12th grade, because each one had a profound effect on the way I view and participate in the world around me. Mr. Costello, Mr. Schragel, Mrs. Eynon, and Mr. DeAngelo are a constant chorus in the back of my mind while I teach my own students with the same passion and competence that Canfield teachers taught me years ago. There is no telling how far this ripple effect reaches; I have over a dozen of my own former students currently pursuing careers in education.

It pains me to hear that not all Canfield residents are aware of what they have, and how easily they could maintain it or deprive future generations of it.

Severe cuts to state funding, NOT mismanagement of resources, are the main reason for the district’s need to pass an additional levy. This is happening all over the state of Ohio; I teach in a socio-economically similar suburban district in the Cleveland area where thankfully we managed to pass a levy in February. The citizens of the community where I teach are extremely cash-strapped in this down economy; however, they realized that if they want to retain the values of their homes and keep their community a safe, desirable one in which to live, passing the levy was imperative.

Please keep this in mind when you vote: the quality of a community is largely based on the quality of its schools, and schools need resources to maintain quality. Government resources are drying up, but schools still need to be funded. You have on your ballot the chance to maintain Canfield’s long tradition as a desirable place to buy a home and raise children, or to abandon it and let it fade into mediocrity.

Please continue the legacy by voting in support of Canfield Local Schools’ levy.

Megan Neville-Jellen

1999 CHS graduate

Solon, Ohio


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