My Letter to Parents of Hamilton School

Posted: March 11, 2010 in Schools, South Bend

[I’m taking a break for a moment from my “letters to the school board” to offer one quickly to my FELLOW parents at Hamilton School] 🙂

To my Fellow Parents at Hamilton School,

What a week!!!  Crazy how things can turn on a dime in regards to plans and possibilities for the future, especially as it relates to our children.  It looks like the School Board could decide to close Hamilton School.  I do not think this is best for our community.  That is why, like you, we have joined in the “demonstrations” at Hamilton (my little girl got on TV…she was so excited!), have joined the Facebook GroupSave Hamilton Traditional School” and are planning on doing what we can to appeal to the School Board to not close Hamilton School.  And, I have to say “well done” to so many of you that have done INCREDIBLE work in regards to the school – from the PTO (incredible), the massive investments of time, a new sign in the front, playground equipment, fun fairs, drama clubs, the list can go on…really…on!  It is for these reasons that I’m thankful for Hamilton, and I’m proud my children are “hornets,” and want to see it remain open.  I think it best for our community.

NOW IF I CAN MAKE ONE APPEAL – we are still within a bigger community that we call “The South Side.”  And I love that community.  I love that community a lot. I was born here.  I live here.  I work here.  My life is invested in “The South Side.”  And one of the most unfortunate realities of this controversy is the possibility that tension can exist that in the end actually hurts the larger community we live in – “The South Side.”  Specifically, I’m concerned and disturbed when I hear in us any argumentation for keeping Hamilton open that disparages Monroe.

Remember, I’m a Hamilton parent…wanting to keep Hamilton open.  But I also love Monroe.  Love it.  It is where I went to school.  And I’ve been in it!  I know the Principal, Jill VanDriessche – and she is AWESOME!!  Phenomenal leader!!  Sharon Gilbert is the Administrative Assistant – LOVE HER!!  Patricia Horner is just a year behind Mrs. Beck in regards to tenure in regards to the school system – AND SHE IS AWESOME!!  In fact, I don’t know any teacher, faculty, or staff member at Monroe that I don’t like.  They are deeply passionate about their school, they are excellent teachers, and they truly love their students and are giving everything to serve them.  We need to be reminded that MANY of those who work at Monroe, also live on the “South Side.”  In fact, many of them live right around Hamilton.  Our kids play Little League together.  We go to the same community pool together in the summer.  We get involved in soccer together (well…some of you do…my family doesn’t because soccer bores us – yea I said it! 🙂 ).  We go to churches together.  They are our neighbors and our friends.  Because of that, and for the sake of our extended community that we call “The South Side” we need to root for them, pray for them, bless them, and cheer for them!!

And we can’t do that AND make disparaging remarks about them, or threaten if they close Hamilton we would NEVER send our kids to Monroe, etc. as if it were the worst place on the planet!  That wounds our friends and neighbors of The South Side deeply.  It demoralizes them and discourages them in their work.  Listen to me now (this is what I would say if I were preaching 🙂 )…remember how upset we all were when NONE of our school board members had even stepped foot in Hamilton (until yesterday…well done Bill Sniedecki and Stephanie Spivey).  How could they judge us, make a determination about what was best for us when they hadn’t even SEEN US!!?  Most parents of Hamilton School have never stepped foot in Monroe, or talked with Jill VanDriessche, or watched the teachers interact with the students.

I’m begging you, as a fellow Hamilton parent, we can make our case for Hamilton remaining open without putting down Monroe.  And it is important because nothing would be more unfortunate in the long run for our community (“The South Side) than to “win” this battle to save Hamilton, but in the process to destroy good will and peace among neighbors because of an imposed district divide down Ireland Rd.

Love,

Your Friend and Neighbor – Sam

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Comments
  1. Doug says:

    Well done Sam.

    (Well…except the remark about soccer…)

  2. MIchelle says:

    Well said Sam, Let’s keep Hamilton open and hope that the ISTEP scores @ Monroe will improve. (Hoping no arguments will start, not my intentions)

  3. Ann says:

    Well said!

  4. Carla says:

    Remember when Riley was “The Pride of the South Side”? I say we should have pride in (as Sam says) the entire zip codes of 46614 and 46613. From one who earns a good deal of her income from, lives, worships and plays on “The South Side” I say – RE-UNITE AND RE-IGNITE
    the spirit that lives on “The South Side”.

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