The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

February 4, 2013

READER'S LETTER: Lincoln High grad praises school

CLINTON — In regard to the article, “Lincoln faces closure” in the Clinton Herald on January 29, 2013, I can personally attest that Lincoln High School helps students to succeed. 

I know from my own personal experience, those of my former classmates, and family members that Clinton would have a higher drop-out rate if it was not for Lincoln’s high school program.        

In 2000, I enrolled in Lincoln High School (LHS) not because “the reasons kids go to Lincoln is lack of credits, poor attendance...” It was because students at Clinton High School (CHS) were becoming increasingly violent and many teachers did not seem to care about the students and their success.  I found many teachers at CHS were unwilling to provide additional assistance, especially if this was not during class hours.  Due to various circumstances it was becoming more difficult to focus on my studies.  I was not failing at CHS, CHS was failing me.

I am offended by a couple of the statements made in the aforementioned article.  Such as the statement, “those classified as “behavioral disorder” or “BD” students, attending classes online or at Lincoln High.”  I do not have, nor have I ever been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder.  The statement, “Aligning the three tiers would include combining the BD program with at-risk students as well as closing the Lincoln campus” is concerning as I believe 13 years ago and today, grouping me with individuals having a behavioral disorder and keeping me at CHS would have been even more detrimental to my success.  

I agree that by attending LHS I did not receive the same academic opportunities as students attending CHS.  I believe, not only did I receive an education I consider to be of better quality than I received at CHS, I also learned a lot about interpersonal relationships and myself.  

Because of the incredible teachers and role models I had at LHS, I went on to college.  The staff at LHS believed in me even when I was unsure of myself.  They helped me to see the reality of what I was capable of.  I will never forget the feeling of pride I had when I was able to walk through the doors of LHS after my first semester of college and show them my report card. I made the Dean’s list that semester and my subsequent semesters throughout college.  I proceeded to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree with a double major of Psychology and Social Sciences with a concentration in Human Services.  I have worked in the Human Services field since 2005 and currently work as a case manager for an agency in the Quad-Cities.  I chose this field because I wanted to inspire others and change lives just as the staff at LHS had done for me.  I went on to obtain my Masters Degree in Organizational Management.  I think of the staff at LHS often and truly love them for helping me along the way to becoming who I am today.  

My story is not unique in that I know many students that graduated from LHS are successful today.  I am hoping they will also speak out about their success and how LHS has contributed to that success.  

Lena Pillers,

Bettendorf

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