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The Mid-county Memo is your newspaper. We want to hear from you. Discuss an important issue or address a concern you want to call to the attention of the community. We prefer e-mailed letters to the editor sent to Darlene Vinson at Please put “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. You may also mail your letter to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230 or fax it to 503-249-7672. Deadline for the September issue is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Teacher laments loss of arts programs

To the Editor:

As a former teacher at Parkrose High School, I was pleased to read about recognizing outstanding music educators in your July 2013 issue of the Mid-County Memo (see Memo Calendar, Events, It's been a Century). I had the pleasure of knowing and working with many of them during my thirty years at Parkrose.

However, I am also saddened by the fact that with all the budget cuts there is really not much of a music program in the Parkrose School District anymore, or any of the fine arts for that matter. There is no longer music in the elementary schools. There is no choir, drama or art in the middle school, and only a half-time band teacher. At the high school, there is only a half-time band teacher, a three-quarters drama teacher, and a full time art teacher (who was transferred from the middle school).

How are we to honor these current teachers years from now if there are no programs? How will students be able to receive a full and well-rounded education if music, art and drama are not included? It is these fine arts that encourage creativity, make students aware of the world around them, give them confidence, and skills to communicate and present themselves to others.

Perhaps the Arts Tax will benefit Parkrose students, and bring back the music, drama and art programs that have been taken away. Let us hope so.

Meanwhile, I will honor my former colleagues, and only hope that this generation of students will have the same opportunities in the arts that Parkrose students have had for the past 100 years.

Jerry Lesch
PHS drama teacher 1969-2000
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