Story last updated at 1:45 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

Teachers request support
Attention parents and community members: We are asking for your support.

Through the years we have worked together as a team to educate the children of Homer. The success of our partnership is reflected in many ways throughout our community. Some examples include high student test scores and a large number of scholarships awarded to students from Homer.

Historically, you have contributed to this process in many ways. You have sent in supplies and items for a multitude of learning projects that have enhanced student learning. You have given us an extraordinary number of volunteer hours within classrooms, and you have worked at home to support your children's learning.

The associations that represent teachers and support staff have entered into mediation with the school district administration. We are attempting to hammer out an agreement on the terms of a contract for employees. We sincerely hope that the mediation process will bring about a contract that is fair and equitable.

We love teaching our community's children, and do not want to be financially penalized for teaching on the Kenai Peninsula. The teachers in our district would be making thousands of dollars more per year if they were teaching in the Mat-Su School District. Ultimately, this discrepancy in salaries will compromise our district's ability to attract and retain excellent teachers who can deliver a high quality education to our young people.

This is where your support comes in. The school board and administration has already heard from teachers and support staff. They need to hear that you are also concerned with maintaining excellence in education. We urge you to contact your school board members and the school district administration to voice your support of equitable teachers' salaries.

Your willingness to speak out will impact the education of students in this area for many years to come. The addresses and phone numbers of area school board reps are: Deb Germano, 235-2358,; and Al Poindexter, 235-1032, Schools Superintendent Donna Peterson can be reached at 262-5846,

We thank you for your support.

Rebecca Boone and Sandra McDaniel