The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Shannon Wintholz

Letter to the Editor: 'Yes' vote for school is right thing for Sidney


Dear Editor,

Becoming a parent is one of the most difficult roles an adult will face. Our walk through parenthood comes with no manual, no chat line for help, no “app” on our phone. We set out at the task blindly with the goal of raising healthy, happy, responsible, successful and educated kids. We have a dream of a better life for each of them. We envision making a difference in their world, so that in time they can make a difference in their own world. We desire facilitating change for positive outcomes, and strive to offer them the best tools necessary to become responsible adults.

With those basic objectives in mind, it is my opinion we are currently falling short of providing our elementary-aged children with an environment which will foster a 21st century education and fully prepare them for the next step in their educational walk. When examining our elementary schools you can see they are outdated, unable to be properly modified for use by children with disabilities, unsuitable to offer current technological needs, and frankly a nuisance of maintenance issues. Our administration has done a fine job of exhausting all efforts to continue to use these timeworn buildings, but it’s time for a positive change. It’s time for a new school.

I believe it’s our responsibility as citizens of Sidney to vote “Yes” to the ballot initiative that would proceed in building a new K-4 elementary school for our students. By voting for this issue the district could annually save up to $100,000 by improving the busing situation, diminishing the cost of utilities and maintenance and combining some of the staff. A “Yes” vote will help to propel Sidney forward into showing prospective newcomers our commitment to our children and their education. We all know the growth of our town is inevitable. If we offer state of the art schools, this can help retain current residents and attract newcomers which will then trickle down to building a larger tax base. As a parent, I’m able to see the progressive difference a new building can make. I feel strongly that as a community, we have the opportunity to further transform our public school system into one of the best in Nebraska.

As a mother of three children who have gone through the new Sidney High School facility, I can say I’ve witnessed what a difference a quality building can make in the growth, education and development of the students. I’m astounded to see the difference in our kids and their attitudes about being a Sidney Red Raider. I’ve watched as new teachers and staff have been recruited into the modern facility and brought their own positive attributes to our school system. I’ve witnessed an awesome shift in overall moral in our high school. I arrive at the different athletic events and can’t find a place to sit because everyone in town has come out to support our teams. Or go to a choir, band or one-act play performance and be amazed at the high level of performance from the kids in our little town. The new building has brought a different kind of pride to our district.

My dream as a parent is give my children the tools they need to become successful and educated adults. Please join in helping to make that dream a reality and vote “Yes” on Feb. 10. Let’s make a difference to our kids and give Sidney another reason to be proud.

Shannon Wintholz



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