Dear Friends of Hanover Schools,
A friend of mine directed me to your website and although I have many other things I need to get done today, I felt compelled to share a short story with you. Please feel free to combine with any other letters or thoughts you receive to help make your case to the school board.
My husband graduated from Hanover County Public Schools and I am a graduate of Augusta County public schools. We moved to Hanover shortly after we graduated from college in the mid-90’s.
As we were early in our careers, we didn’t have much in savings but we scraped together enough funds to make a small down payment on our first house in Foxhead. We lived there for several years, made some great friends and had our first son. Our careers started to take off and we decided to build a home right across the street in Milestone. We made more friends, had our second son and started to get our boys involved in area sports.
My husband has helped coach baseball and football at Atlee Little League and the Bluestar Cowboys. He has volunteered on the board for both organizations. Our oldest son was one of the first students to go to Kersey Creek. We were satisfied with the quality of education our boys were getting in Hanover County and it was a strong motivating factor for us to choose Hanover in the first place.
A few years ago, we built a new home in Lindsay Meadows and had a third son. Our oldest started Oak Knoll this year and our middle son is a third grader at Rural Point Elementary, the same school my husband attended many years ago.
Unfortunately, as I write this with a heavy conscience, I am saddened that my youngest son may never attend Hanover County public schools. We are also considering pulling out our two oldest boys and sending them to private school, even though they have made many friends over the years and are both very active in area sports including lacrosse, baseball and football.
They have been playing sports, going to classes and participating in activities with many of their friends since they were 4 years old and we had envisioned them playing on the same field, participating in other school activities and walking across the graduation stage with many of these same kids.
However, that scenario is becoming less likely.
The quality of education in Hanover County is deteriorating and the proposed changes, if enacted, will result in further deterioration. Lack of updated technology and learning materials puts our students at a disadvantage and does not prepare them adequately to compete with other students at the next level.
As a daughter of a retired English teacher and a friend of several Hanover county teachers, I understand well the sacrifices that educators make for the benefit of their students, but there is a tipping point where they can be pushed too far and then no one wins. It appears that we are getting very close to that point.
We need to equip our teachers and our students with the tools they need to succeed. We need not to settle for average and even worse below average. I attribute my success to a little good fortune, a supportive husband, a high quality education and a strong work ethic, instilled in me from an early age from my father (may he rest in peace), my mother (who was also one of my teachers) and several inspirational teachers.
Regardless of the decision we make with regards to our sons’ education, we are committed to help improve the quality of education in Hanover County. I struggle daily with the choice I know I will need to make, but I am also very cognizant and grateful that I have a choice that many others do not have.
I hope that Hanover County can still be the place that people are proud to call home and raise their children and for which teachers, coaches and others can be proud to work.