I remember my

first tour of the newly constructed Stow-Munroe Falls High School. It is a vivid memory for me on two counts. First, I had recently become a new mother and I imagined my son attending school at this state-of-the-art facility. Second, I was a proud employee of the school district. As both a community member and employee, I take pride in the excellent educational program offered to the students of Stow and Munroe Falls and in the school buildings our students call home for seven-plus hours each day.

When I served as principal of Highland Elementary from 1990-2003, I observed firsthand our district's challenge of caring for its oldest school building on a limited budget. Our district leaders are charged with maintaining not one, but nine buildings of various ages and sizes. They constantly prioritize projects with the big picture of the district in mind. They do the best they can to address serious maintenance issues when they arise but funds for both maintenance and improvements continue to be insufficient to the need. The proposed permanent improvement levy, Issue 42, would provide a dedicated income stream that would allow our district to be proactive in addressing our most pressing building issues.

The years have flown by and I continue to appreciate my children's educational experiences in our district. Stow-Munroe Falls High School, the newest of our district's buildings, will celebrate its 30th birthday next year. The challenge is now ours, to step up and support Issue 42 on Nov. 8 in order to provide schools that are safe, welcoming and well maintained for the children of our great community.

Happy Bengston, Stow