To the editor:

I am very pleased with the experience my now second grader had in district 834.

We enrolled him as a kindergartener in our district’s dual immersion program (Amigos Unidos). While in Kindergarten he learned the ins and outs of the school day and he learned many Spanish words.

When COVID hit, our family chose to keep him at home for first Grade in a 100% online option. We pulled him from Amigos Unidos because I felt I couldn’t help him as much, as I am not a fluent Spanish speaker.

Our son was obviously behind in reading, having had one year of Spanish instruction and no formal English reading instruction. Frankly, I was worried. His 2020/2021 online experience was simply fantastic! His classroom teacher was amazing — she will forever hold a place in our family’s heart. She and the reading intervention team at Lake Elmo Elementary worked with him to bring him up to speed on reading. Our son started first grade not able to read much more than ‘Mom, Dad, train, and truck’ to being on level for his second grade year.

This school year I am delighted to be back working as a substitute teacher in the Stillwater District.

Each day I am called to sub, I see the dedication of our staff and the dogged determination they show to reach every student and make them feel welcome. For these reasons and many more, I will vote yes on the upcoming levy.

I will vote yes to support our schools, staff and teachers. I will vote yes for my two boys and for all our students. I believe the ability to invest and support the unknown quantity of the kid down the street or across the highway is one of the most amazing things I can do as a taxpayer.

The investment in the future of our shared community through supporting public education is one of the most patriotic things I can think of and I will proudly cast my yes vote to support our 834 community. I will vote yes because I have Pony Pride!

Eva Lee

Lake Elmo

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