Northwest NEWS

January 29,2001

Editorial

It's the people who make a school

I'm writing in response to the letter sent Jan. 15. As a 20-year member of this community I have seen and felt the enormous growth that has impacted our area. (And when I address community I mean all those within the borders of the Riverview School District.) Tremendous growth has occurred in the greater Duvall area because Duvall could sustain the growth. Carnation, situated at a lower elevation and near the flood plain, could not. The new high school was built in a location that was determined by district enrollment, changing demographics, rapid growth in the Duvall area, as well as overburdened sewer systems in Carnation. It was not built to create a rift in the community. The letter writer obviously has great pride in her memories as a "Tolt alumnus."
   No one can take her memories or pride away. As citizens in the Riverview School District we have been asked what we can do to provide for the students that reside in our community. Our school needs facilities to support its programs. An athletic facility, built in conjunction with the high school, can be utilized virtually every day, all day. Physical education students can walk out the door every hour and play and exercise on the field and track. Student athletes can come to school early and stay late, teams will gain 30-40 minutes of practice time each day because they will not have to travel to a field. Costs associated with transportation can be utilized to enrich other programs. Fans, teachers and administration can walk out the door to celebrate and cheer on the students of Cedarcrest High School. The school spirit associated with activities and athletics is a fundamental element in successful schools. To build a field 15 minutes away from the school does not make sense as it will severely limit its overall use, increase transportation costs, and negatively impact school spirit.
   I ask all citizens of the Riverview School District to decide what their choice will be. Will hurt pride in the loss of Tolt High School result in the loss of opportunity for our students? As a tax-paying citizen I feel that it is my duty to provide for the students in my community. I am sensitive to costs and the reality that we can't have everything we want, but my civic pride and civic responsibility tell me that I must stand up and speak out on this issue. Riverview Schools are only asking us to COMPLETE the school facility that serves our children now and in the future. I ask all Tolt graduates, and all Riverview citizens, to please re-examine this issue. I will not vote NO on student athletics.
   It has been demonstrated time and again that children who participate in student activities and student athletics are more successful in school and in the work place. I'm quite sure that the other issues that the letter writer mentions, i.e., upgrading Batten Road and upgrading the Tolt Middle School fields are all issues worthy of consideration, but not reason enough to negate the positives that would result from a Cedarcrest athletic facility.
   And, I believe that alumni can find a suitable place to gather and share their memories. It's the people that make a school, not the building.
   Kerri Hunt, Duvall