Letter: Setting our preferred future by Paul Johnson
The School District of Rhinelander provided me a positive educational experience. As a student at Pine Lake Elementary School, James Williams Junior High School, and Rhinelander High School I was provided a comprehensive and rewarding academic and co-curricular experience. From Mrs. Tischendorf getting me off on the right path in kindergarten with organization skills by pinning notes on my jacket to Ms. Titus challenging me outside my comfort level in preparation for higher education, I feel fortunate to have been born, raised and educated in Rhinelander.
With my children at Crescent Elementary School, I have witnessed both as a parent and volunteer a competent and caring staff. Elementary class size reduction through SAGE is paramount to the long-term success of many children. As my children are moving through Central and James Williams, they continue to be guided by teachers who challenge yet support them towards academic excellence. They are also provided diverse exploratory classes and co-curricular activities that give them a comprehensive school experience.
I feel fortunate to have lived and worked in two other school districts prior to coming home. This benefited me in having a more informed perspective about Rhinelander, both as a community and as a school system, relative to other communities similar to ours. In one city, I saw firsthand a community resistant to change finally pass the building of a new high school. The pessimism subsided and future school-community projects have since been funded and supported.
Recently, our school and community have united as partners in education. I believe the citizens of Rhinelander will continue to shape our preferred future as a hub of economic stability and future growth in the Northwoods. We are seeing success with many of our programs since the most recent facility upgrades. Our community showed kids we care and their performances are indicating that our community made a wise investment.
Rhinelander has so many positives. We have the infrastructure – retail, medical, transportation and recreational as well as the quality of life environment desired by families, retirees and prospective businesses. A comprehensive and progressive school system is a critical factor in ensuring the long-term viability of our community. Working together in strengthening our schools, we can build the future for the betterment of our community.
Paul E. Johnson, Principal, James Williams Middle School