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They say the two things that one should avoid speaking about in polite company are politics and religion. Well, forgive me, but I'm about to do both.

I thank Terry Wike for reminding me in November that I stand before God when I support the March levy.  If we are to live our faith, then it is to be present in all we do, and that is doubly true of the things to which we devote a great deal of our time, talent and money.

I ask God's presence in these proceedings and I regularly pray for His wisdom to guide the leaders of our district. I also ask Him that these proceedings not tear apart the fabric of our community. We are called to peace.

When we consider the children in our school district, what else are we called to do? When I ask this question, the verse that comes to me is: Jesus said: Feed my lambs.

How does that work here?

Lets first consider hungry minds and growing intellects.   Our schools have a mission to improve student achievement, to enable each child to reach his or her highest intellectual potential.

Westerville Schools offer the basics, of course.  There are some in the community that would have us end our efforts at that level.  But doesn't the word basic imply a base, something upon which higher learning is built? If we lived in a different age or society where the basics were all that were needed, that would be fine. The Amish only educate to a middle school level, because in their culture, that is all that is needed. Thankfully, the structure and freedom of our nation can support the existence of such a culture.  But also  as a nation, we have moved beyond our simple agrarian or manufacturing roots. I want my children, and the children in my community,  prepared academically to be up to the challenges of a world where advances in technology move at super-computer speed.

In the effort to prepare our children for this world, a number of Westerville high school students were provided with a new piece of technology, not unlike the calculators some of us used in high school, which were, in that day, a stunning piece of technology.   Now, to hear the opposition talk about it, you would think that every Westerville student got this piece of technology.  Not true. Well, at least half of all students? Not even close. Two percent. Two percent of all Westerville students received a PDA. But of course, because we still keep hearing about it, surely they have continued to hand them out, spending our money as if there were no tomorrow. Well, no. It was a one-time pilot project to study whether educational outcomes could be improved by using the technology.  One time, three years ago, and never again.  Folks, I would humbly suggest that its time to forgive and forget and move on.

But there is one part of this situation that I want to see continued:  The effort to give our children the education they will need to make their way in world of advancing ideas and technology.  Jesus said: Feed my sheep.  I want a school system that nurtures and feeds my childrens minds, and where possible, their spirits.  Their souls are up to me to address through my choices for their spiritual and religious upbringing.  I want a school system that does its very best, not the very least, to feed my children's minds and encourage their growing intellects.  For this reason, I support this modest operating levy. Though it will not provide the very best for our children, but it will prevent us from being forced to provide the very least that we can.

I support and will continue to support, through prayer and taxes, the Westerville City Schools.


 ~ Sandy Schumann

Westerville Voters On Target for Education