It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since I walked across the graduation stage along with the Class of 2016. The past year has completely flown by, and I'm sure that my classmates can agree. After graduation we were free -- off to college, work, to begin our careers and find ourselves. Whatever path we chose, our time at Aurora built a strong foundation that prepared us for this next phase in our lives.
After starting at a university with people from all over the world, I now have a deeper understanding for the true value of my public education. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have teachers that stay late to help students grasp concepts, or an involved school board that keeps students interests at the basis of decisions.
It's no coincidence that Aurora alumni consistently rise above the rest -- not just in rankings, but in our ability to transcend beyond smalltown Ohio, and be at the forefront of global change, innovation and success.
In short, it's because of my outstanding public school education that I'll have the opportunity to graduate early (from American University) because of the vast amount of honors and AP courses that were available to me.
Which is why I urge everyone to vote "yes" on the 5.9-mill levy on the May 2 ballot. It is extremely important to protect the strong school system that you all have created. I hope that generations to come are able to benefit from the same Aurora school district that I know and love -- a system that has provided me with a tremendous amount of opportunities.
Cal DiJulius, Washington, D.C.
I am happy for the recent grad, now at college and now supporting the levy. As a graduate from Aurora, hopefully he will employ those critical thinking skills and come to the realization that the equation for a achieving a great education involves primarily three things:
Parents - Strong families who value education and being enlightened. Perhaps he was fortunate enough to have great parents. Ask any teacher how huge it is when a child in their classroom is free of stressful family emotional issues.
Work - a strong personal work ethic still can take a person a long way, but he will realize that life is not fair and there are many people who refuse to work and pay their fair share leaving that to the working class (taxpayers).
Opportunity - the school plays a role here, but it comes at a hefty dollar cost to the individuals in our community, and is often dictated by bureacratic motives which are designed to protect and employ paper pushers.Taxpayers have a legitimat, legal right to hold public workers accountable in this matter.
So does the student advocate high salaries for administrators and support teaching staff and otherauxillary functionsthat makes up 58% of Aurora'sschool salary budget, or would he suspect that this as a collossal waste of money, diverting money from "the classroom"?
Since the young man is probably not earning enough money to even contribute financially to the schools, it is easy to claim that others (not him) pay for a levy. And this one is not time limited. It is a permanent, "forever" levy, that will generate millions, even if Aurora's student population contnues to drop.
I hope his critical thinking skills improve with time, education and work experience, but I applaud him for taking teh time to write an op-ed!