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Letter to the Editor

By Staff | May 22, 2010

First of all, I would like to thank the following for their sincere and honest contributions and opinions concerning ELC and collective bargaining:

1. Don Schiltz for the years of service you have given to this community by participating as a member of the ELC school board. It’s a thankless job, and you give your time freely. You’ve been involved in some very difficult decisions during your tenure and I personally thank you for your dedication.

2.My good friend Larry Loeschen who always has good ideas (usually conservative), but honestly expressed. I appreciate your wisdom and opinions about the future of school employees and how schools may have to change to meet the needs of the taxpayer in the future. Larry does my taxes and for those of you who need a tax genius, Larry’s the man.

3.My friend and co-worker Lili Jensen for your dedication to our profession, your hard work with the ISEA and the ELC Teachers Union.. I know we don’t like calling it a union (because it’s against the law in Iowa for us to strike), but we support collective bargaining.

4. EDN for providing this forum for all of us to express our thoughts and feelings.

I became a teacher 30 years ago because I wanted to work with young people. I’ve worked in the private sector and I agree with both Don and Larry that we do have some nice benefits. Don brought up the 190-day contract. I love it, and it was one of the considerations for me when I became a teacher. I have to admit, that my starting salary wasn’t.. I made more money working in a warehouse in Denver, my previous job, than I did in my first teaching job. I estimate that I’ve worked with between 350 and 400 students over the course of my teaching career. For those of you who don’t know, I work with students who have struggled with learning in the traditional model of education. Many are strong willed individuals and are very bright, but need the TLC and guidance and support that my program provides. I don’t have accurate statistics to support this, but I honestly believe that over ninety percent of my students are successfully employed and paying taxes. I feel good about this, and I honestly feel I have earned every penny that you tax payers have so generously given to me. I will be retiring this year and I want to thank everyone in the ELC school district for the opportunity to serve you for the majority of my teaching career.

The fact that this forum has inspired people to express such diverse and opposing opinions may explain why collective bargaining came about and is so necessary to achieve some balance and fairness in this world.

What is collective bargaining? Defined by Wikipedia, collective bargaining is a process between employers and employees to reach an agreement regarding the rights and duties of people at work which usually sets out issues such as employees pay, working hours, training, health and safety, and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.

In 1930, the Supreme Court, in the case of Texas & N.O.R. Co. v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, upheld the act’s prohibition of employer interference in the selection of bargaining representatives. In 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order giving public-employee unions the right to collectively bargain with federal government agencies.

Now I want to brag a little!!

My daughter just made the Dean’s list in her first year of Pharmacy School at SDSU. I’m very proud of her. I also want to thank all of the ELC teachers who gave her a great education so she could excel in college. How many more parents owe your child’s educational and career successes to many of the fine teachers at ELC?? Why not express how you feel via EDN.

I have much more to say, but must cut this letter short.

Michael P. Clague

Founder of the “Iowa Idiots”


Letter to the Editor

By Staff | May 22, 2010

My name is Luca Andre and I am the foreign exchange student from Germany.

The past 10 months I lived in Estherville with the Erbes family, and feel the urge to say THANK YOU. They were including me as I were their own and I love them so much and can’t even express how appreciated they are. They will always remain my second family!

I couldn’t have imagined a greater, more welcoming community than here in Estherville. I want to thank every single one in this town for welcoming and having me with open arms, in particular my great friends especially Molly and Chelsie. I also want to send out a special thank you to the DQ team, which was the reason for my Blizzard addiction! What will I do without DQ in Germany? I probably need to go into rehab.

Thanks to the ELC High School for giving me a great American school experience.

Especially Mrs. Stephanie Hanson, Mrs. Sheena Van Roekel, and Mrs. Laura Giebler, were great teachers to me and I will always remember them as interesting, crazy, funny, and great people I had a great time with.

Another thank you goes to my IEC Linda Morris, and the EF Foundation for foreign study who made it even possible for me to spend the greatest year of my life, here in the United States of America. I will miss y’all!

Luca Andre

5 Alexander RD