Letters to the editor – Monday (10-1-2012)

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ellen  Huffman has a terrific teacher and friend
        I just finished reading the wonderful tribute to Ellen Huffman, written by Mark Wineka. It was the perfect way to say “goodbye” to a teacher who has touched the lives of so many 5-year-old children over the past 34 years. My oldest son, David, was extremely lucky to have Ellen as his kindergarten teacher at Duncan School her very first year as a K teacher. We had known her family before that year, but as David’s first experience with public education, we felt we were very fortunate. David loved school that year. Ellen could not have been a better first experience for him. We continued to be involved with her personally as she watched both my boys after school at one point while I was teaching/working for the Salisbury School System.
I have been lucky to continue to be involved with Ellen and kindergarten children at Isenberg School the past few years. I presented the program I work with, the Second Step Program, sponsored by Families First, once a week for 30 minutes, and I observed her interaction with her students as I came into the room and as I left the room. She always kept me informed and up to date on any particular things that were going on that day and was a wonderful contact/friend/co-teacher.
I know that we are going to continue to be good friends even as she enjoys her well-earned retirement. I hope that her new retired life is happy, healthy and filled with all the good times she deserves after the many years of enjoyment and quality learning she has given to so many girls and boys.
– Lea Silverburg

Why I’m a Democrat
 It’s not easy being a Democrat in Rowan County. I’m not sure how it happened, especially since I’ve lived here all my life. How does one line up with the Democrats after being surrounded by Republicans for 43 years?
Here’s my best explanation: My family taught me to love everyone, no matter their color, religious views or sexual orientation. I grew up with my dad working in the textile mills and my mom staying home taking care of the kids. From time to time, we needed a little help. It was rare, but sometimes we got food stamps. Thank goodness for Pell grants and student loans. I was able to get a degree, repay my loans and earn a living. I even pay federal income tax, although Romney assumed I was a freeloader because I am part of the 47 percent that will vote for Obama.
I’m voting for Obama not because I am a moocher but because I am a Democrat. Democrats believe in the middle class; they side with laborers, blue-collar workers and the teachers. They help those in need, because they know everyone deserves a shot at the American dream. I’m grateful for the help I got along the way, and I am proof that those policies work.
The Republican Party seems to believe that everyone should completely make it on their own without any government help. That philosophy would work if we all started on the same playing field. But that is not the case. Therefore, I am a Democrat. I believe we all help each other, we all come from different backgrounds, but we all deserve a shot at the American dream. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re the daughter of a millworker from Spencer, the son of a single mother or the son of a governor. Everyone deserves a chance.
– Bonnie Harrell