As a longtime resident of Mendon (25 years), I have watched the town override debate with keen interest. I grew up here and I still live here. Walking down the idyllic streets and in the area of the park and beach, you can see that there is a strong sense of community here, and at the center of it: the school system. You see a lot of newer faces here in town, and this growth in our community is very much due to the location of town, the plethora of great town services, and especially the school system.
When I graduated Nipmuc in 2008, it was still known as a blue ribbon school of excellence. Uxbridge had recently gone through its accreditation crisis and there were many students who choiced in from Uxbridge that graduated with me. The quality of our school system is what kept many going to the school after Uxbridge had been re-accredited. There were many opportunities Nipmuc provided for students then that prepared me for college. Many of the electives I chose to take put me at a distinct advantage for college classes I took toward my major. Now, many of these same electives are on the chopping block and I am not so sure that students attending college from Nipmuc would get the same boost that they would have 7 years ago.
Students who are struggling also would be greatly affected. The educational and technological supports that I received for my minor learning disability are what helped me get into college in the first place. I fear that if this override fails, many students with similar conditions would find themselves out of luck, and not able to keep their head above water enough to make it to college. We don’t want to get in the practice of throwing students’ futures away.
As an alumni of this school system, I often ask myself how I can give back. Well, the best way an alumni can give back to the town and ensure its future is to vote YES on this override. A YES vote will sustain our current program offerings and educational supports as well as set a strong course for the future. Equally important, a yes vote will secure our town services and ensure that Mendon continues to be a great town to live in. Join me in voting YES on June 30th!
Thanks Tom for your support…and your YES vote! Those students that are walking in your footsteps will appreciate it.