As someone who has had a child at Riverside-Brookfield High School for three years, I have seen a good school becoming better and better. Momentum in the right direction has been building and was accelerated by the recent hire of the principal, Pam Bylsma.

Ms. Bylsma is a great fit in a school that already valued the whole child. Her experience with the Character Counts program can only add to the concept of helping kids become the best people they can, a concept I feel was already evident in the way all students have been encouraged to be involved in so many different activities.

These activities, in combination with outstanding academic classes and dedicated, caring staff foster a unique opportunity for kids to discover how their interests and talents can help make this world a better place. RB is a school big enough to offer students this wide array of experiences, yet small enough to make those experiences personal.

I fear that many in our community are not aware of just how different RBHS is, both from what it used to be, and from other high schools. I don’t want this to be a case of not appreciating what we have until it’s gone.

RB has been able to grow into a wonderful institution due to generous support from the District 208 community. The question being put before us on April 5 is whether we, as a community, are willing to pay more to allow the school to hang on to what it’s become, and continue to build on its successes.

Our answer determines what happens at RB. We can say yes and watch RB continue to offer the children of this community a launching pad into adulthood that has proved to be successful. We can say no, watch the board make drastic cuts to balance the budget, and risk the falling away of much of what makes RB the very special place that it is. P

People who feel that we can have it both ways, that as a community we can say no without any damage to the school, are engaging in magical thinking.

I hope you will join me on April 5 in voting yes and continuing to invest in our community high school.

Lisa Aulerich-Marciniak