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Letters to the Editor June 5

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Appreciative of Sparks

I met JD Sparks on Oldham County Day several years ago when he offered to carry my fold up lawn chairs, without their cover, which is difficult, about two blocks from my van to the Oldham County Republican Women’s Club booth and also carried them back at the end of the day. JD Sparks has always volunteered to help all year-round with projects that benefit the community, the Republican Party and many other groups, such as the veterans.

I have watched his performance on Fiscal Court and I appreciate the questions he asks so that everyone can understand the issues being discussed. There are many of us who are not involved in government that need clarification of the proceedings.

He has participated with the Fiscal Court in many areas and has helped achieve cutting the debt in half without raising taxes and removed several ugly buildings from the county.

JD Sparks is a Marine and since my husband is also a Marine, I truly appreciate what they have given for this country and for all of us who benefit today from their service. Semper Fi.

Barbara Ann Lackore

La Grange

A plea for Liberty Elementary

On August 23, 1988, after my parents moved my sister and me to Buckner, I started the third grade at Liberty Elementary. This past Friday night, with one of my best friends, Trey Kamer (also a Liberty alum), our wives in tow, and my youngest son, we joined hundreds of other Liberty students to say goodbye to an old friend. We stepped back in time 26 years as we walked through the doors, seeing the same mural in the lunchroom. The same book cases and smell in library (if you went to Liberty you know what I mean by “smell” – it’s not a bad smell, it’s the way a school should smell).The same kiln, shelves with paints and supplies in the art room.

And so now I find myself mourning the loss of a building and community that has been deemed “too old and out of date.” A facility that has fostered generations of Oldham County’s children for nearly 90 years. And I find myself saddened and aggravated. And there is nothing like the reality of the end of an era to ignite feelings and questions.

I have heard the school board’s arguments: “the buildings can’t be brought up to standards without major work” and the “infrastructure is crumbling” and “we are busing kids further to get to Liberty.” Ironically, as I understand it, there was a plan to update and renovate Liberty. The school board purchased more land adjacent to the school and Liberty was going to become “equal” to its sister schools in the rest of the county. What happened? I have heard the student “census” has dropped in Oldham County and there was of course a hotly contested acquisition of land by the board in Brownsboro, but why pull the plug and bury Liberty? The families of the Liberty district are now going to be left without a local school and will be shuffled to one of three or four other schools. I breathed a sigh of relief before the last school board election when Brownsboro was put on hold and Liberty’s closing was tabled. But it seems as though after the election, Liberty’s fate was sealed.

I am all for progress, but also value history and preservation, and I believe there should be a balance between both. Too old and outdated can be fixed. The legacy and community of thousands of Liberty students is something that cannot be duplicated. So I have two things left to say:

1. To all of the teachers over all of the years – thank you. I realized walking through the halls of Liberty with Trey and our families, how much each teacher and staff member meant to us as kids. From the librarians, to Mr. Hoffman, the gym teacher, to the janitors and two of my most favorites: Mrs. Ford, who saw something in me and encouraged it (and who is still teaching art at Liberty) and Mrs. Cunningham, who taught me to write neatly in fourth grade and boosted my self-confidence. All of you were special to this dark-haired kid with glasses.

2. Make some noise if you feel like I do. I don’t know if it’s too late, but maybe with an overwhelming show of opinion and support, there could be a future for some kind of new “hybrid” Liberty Elementary that isn’t “too old and outdated” for another 90 years.

Oh Liberty we love… you know the rest of the song.

Barrett Shirrell

Liberty Class of 1991