I would like to respond to Bernie Keller’s Dec. 23 letter in which he questioned the need for the North Thurston Education Foundation and made disparaging comments about North Thurston Public Schools.
Several years ago I retired as a NTPS teacher. NTPS schools serve different neighborhoods. I taught at a school where over 70 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price meals, an indicator of the economic vitality of a community. Though Mr. Keller’s church, like many wonderful organizations and individuals, contribute time and money to support NTPS students and families, the needs are still great. As a teacher, I contributed monthly to the North Thurston Education Foundation because I witnessed the positive impact NTEF had on the lives of families. My wife and I continue to contribute to the North Thurston Education Foundation.
Regarding Mr. Keller’s suggestion that 10 percent of NTPS’s construction budget be tapped to “take care of their students,” I don’t believe the citizens who voted for the construction bonds would support that. And I don’t believe it would be legal.
Mr. Keller’s poor assessment of NTPS appears to be due to the demolition of “one of the most popular and beneficial ball parks in the area.” An article in the Nov. 22, 2016, edition of The Olympian explains the reason for the demolition: safety. The Regional Athletic Complex, little more than the length of a Nelson Cruz home run from the former ball park, includes five baseball fields.