A few days ago I was made aware of the issue to add the Pioneer Pete mascot to the field at Pioneer Stadium, and that this action would cost nearly $20,000.
This action seems extravagant and ill-timed. As a parent, staff and community member, I would like to think that our school board has the education of our young people at the forefront of its agenda rather than the physical appearance of a sports field.
If you would like to put money toward something that will really make a difference, might I suggest buying more Chromebooks/devices so that all of our classroom staff have what they need to teach their students effectively. (Some staff members, including myself, have recently purchased their own devices to use for school because we were told there were no devices to give to us. Others are going without.)
Putting more money toward staff wages could help staff our schools appropriately. All of our schools could use more instructional assistants to better serve our students, especially during this year as we deal with a majority of kids who were largely unengaged during distance learning and need specific help catching up.
There are also issues at individual schools that could use funds, such as creating enough staff parking at Gardiner Middle School or making more internal keys so staff can access the bathroom closest to them.
These are the issues that are affecting the education of our students, our future ... not a mascot painted on a sports field that will wear off in a few years. We should be putting our hard-earned money (whether through taxes or fundraising) towards the things that really make a difference in our community — our young people, the leaders of tomorrow.
Lisa Bolan is an instructional assistant at Gardiner Middle School in Oregon City.
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