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Letter: Thanks go to Hastings school system

To the editor,

As I near the end of my first semester of college at Bethel University, I reflect not only on what I have learned the past four months, but how much Hastings and its education system has prepared me for college and life ahead. My gratitude has compelled me to write this letter, and my appreciation extends to every teacher in District 200. I believe teachers are rarely thanked enough or fully valued for the life they breathe into students each and every day.

I do, however, have one critique I feel is of the utmost importance to be shared. I am personally aware the majority of teachers, especially the high school staff, attempt to push each student to pursue as many academically-stimulating classes possible. I, however, believe they do not push quite hard enough. Yes, it is difficult to find the balance between encouraging students to enroll in more challenging courses, and still allowing the students the freedom to choose classes for themselves. However, encouragement by the teaching staff toward more demanding course work can be very beneficial to the student. The reward of developing critical thinking, time management, and sophisticated writing skills earlier can far outweigh the year or two of challenging course loads. If this letter could persuade even one teacher to push a little harder, or if it could soften the mind of one student's decision to steer clear of AP courses, then it has served my purpose.

As I mentioned before, I cannot express my gratitude enough for the positive impact the entire Hastings school system has had on me. This letter is a simple footnote to acknowledge the academic masterpiece created by the entire education system at Hastings. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you for teaching me how to write this letter.

Lucas Bunting