I urge Willmar-area residents to support the levy on Nov. 8 for two reasons. First, they should vote yes for the students who need the classes that prepare them for college or for work. My oldest son took a number of Advanced Placement classes at WHS to lessen his course load at college and to prepare him for more rigorous work. But all students require the education that will help us keep pace with a fast-encroaching world economy. Willmar Public Schools also provide superlative fine arts education: our choirs, bands, jazz band, orchestra and theater ("Phantom of the Opera" opens Nov. 10).
Second, residents should vote yes to ensure our city's reputation as a progressive, intelligent hub. If we want to attract doctors to our clinic or scientists to our technology campus, then we need strong schools for children. My husband and I deliberately chose Willmar back in 1998 when he took a job teaching at the college; we saw from past graduates that our children could be astronauts or opera singers coming from WPS.
Historically, Minnesota has been a state that has valued children and education. Our area voters have a chance to align with those values Nov. 8. Our future opera singers and astronauts are waiting in the wings.
Jill R. Benson