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Remember to Thank a TeacherAs an elementary...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Remember to Thank a Teacher

As an elementary teacher specialist in the Harford County public school system, I have had the opportunity and honor to work directly with more than 400 teachers in 12 different schools throughout the county. . . . In my capacity as a "helping teacher," I am impressed daily with the diligence, professionalism and sensitivity exhibited in their craft, that of facilitating learning for the next generation.

As school reform impacts all facets of education, a teacher's job becomes increasingly demanding. A former classroom teacher for 20 years myself, I know that a teacher's day never ends. I know that teachers across my county and state are putting their hearts, minds, energy, time and personal finances into providing excellence for their students. And I know that if they are to be successful in that endeavor, teachers need your support.

No matter who you are, teachers need to know that you care. If you sit on a Board of Education, we invite you to come sit in a classroom for a day.

If you are a community leader, we invite you to lead your colleagues to provide needed funding.

If you are a business person, we invite you to forge new partnerships with the business of education.

If you are a school administrator, we invite you to renew your advocacy as a spokesman for your staff.

If you are a parent, I personally invite you to sit down tonight and, in writing, let your child's teacher know how much you appreciate what they do for your child. That note will make a teacher's day tomorrow, and an impact forever.

If you are a student, please work hard, believe in yourself and remember to thank the teachers that help you grow.

And if you are a teacher, yes, you are challenged and frustrated, but you are also loved and cherished by those whose lives you touch, and you are envied by those who have never had the chance to see the world as you do every day, through the eyes of children.

As the day of reckoning for our "Goals for America 2000" looms in the not-so-distant future, it is imperative that we move forward together in the same direction, shoulder to shoulder, supporting each other. . . . As we move into the 21st century, it is time for teamwork and a united front . . . a united front for our children.

Gemma Staub Hoskins

Bel Air

E9 The writer was the 1992 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Crime of a Deficit?

Far be it from me to expect that members of Congress should be consistent or logical, but I present the following argument:

Should a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution ever be passed, then it obviously would become a federal crime to overspend the money that belongs to the people of the nation, just as it is a crime to violate any other provision of the Constitution.

It, therefore, behooves the members of the Congress . . . to spell out the penalties due to those who violate the Constitutional provision against government embezzlement.

How many years should these criminals serve, and with or without parole? In what jurisdiction should they be tried? Who is to prosecute? Should any such person, if found guilty, be barred from holding elective office ever again? Should the Congress as a whole be charged with the crime, or only those who voted "aye" on the unlawful statutes? . . .

There are also many other questions which the anti-crime caucus need to consider . . . should this come up again . . . if the budget is revealed not to be in balance.

John V. Lanahan

Aberdeen

Martyr Complex

I am concerned that your Feb. 19 article about the Jehovah's Witness teen-ager who quit her student government position might confuse people who feel inclined to consider Jennifer Hundley's resignation as courageous.

This attitude, coupled with the wellspring of negative public opinion, only serves to amplify the "martyr complex," a prime ingredient of the fuel which drives the organization's engines.

Furthermore, identifying adherents as Christian is a contradiction terms. My father, whom I love dearly, was an overseer who fed me a steady diet of JW doctrine. Therefore, I can speak with authority that, according to JWs, Jesus was just another god. He was "a god" among many. Indeed, Jesus is on the same spiritual plane as the archangel Michael. Upon the basis of this belief alone, most main-line denominations consider JWs a cult and not at all Christian. . . .

Jerry D. Kallmyer

Abindgon

Unfair to Edgewood Schools

I am writing this letter in response to two things I read in the Feb. 12 edition of The Sun for Harford County. . . .

The first was a letter from a woman in Abingdon who was in severe distress because her children will have to attend that Route 40 corridor school known as Edgewood. She goes on to say the county promised an Abingdon middle school to be built in 1996-1997, but it won't be built until 1999-2000. Next, she bellyaches how geographically the area should be known as "Bel Air/Abingdon," not "Abingdon/Edgewood."

I feel this woman was misled by some home seller or developer who was out to sell houses and not concerned about where her children will go to school. As a 28-year-old county native who graduated from Edgewood, I take offense. . . . My time spent there was some of the best years of my life. By the way, I graduated from college and live in the Abingdon area by choice.

Before anyone gets hysterical about their children's education, I offer a few simple solutions:

* Send them to private school.

* Visit the school. Don't listen to second-hand reports from the media or neighbors. Get involved.

* Go back to where you previously lived. . . .

The second thing that irked me was an advertisement for a new townhouse community being built in the Constant Friendship development in Abingdon. In the top corner, it said "Bel Air" in bold letters. . . .

Bel Air is not the only town in Harford County. There are many great areas in this county. If you like sitting in traffic jams, waiting an hour for a table to eat or standing in long lines at the grocery store, then move to Bel Air. It's the place for you.

I am not a small-town conservative who is resistant to change, but change must come slowly and not overnight. We are currently playing a catch-up game due to the rapid growth in our area. In the meantime, relax, take a deep breath and explore this wonderful area known as Harford County. You'll be surprised at what you might find.

Mel Wehrman

Abingdon

It is interesting to note the degree of bigotry and snobbishness Meghan Michaels has the shamelessness to exhibit in her Feb. 12 letter to the editor. The community of Edgewood has suffered a poor reputation too long because of people like her.

The facts about Edgewood High are:

* It wins more than its share of scholastic honors every year.

* Its Academic Team, consisting of Robbie Brusch, Kyle Rose and John Smart, advised by Douglas Johnson and Janet Peoples, is undefeated in the '94-'95 year. Some of the high schools it defeated were South River, McDonogh, Calvert Hall and Fallston.

* It has an excellent teaching staff, is well regulated and run by Bob Williams, its principal.

Three years ago, the Edgewood Lions Club, with the full cooperation of Mr. Williams, formed a Leo Club in Edgewood High. The club has since grown to more than 90 members of both sexes and all races. These are young people, who, like the sponsoring Lions, are devoted to community, state and national service. Other than Aberdeen High, another maligned school, no other school in Harford County can match this community spirit and service . . .

Lawrence A. Battaglia

Edgewood

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