Remember those who paid the ultimate price
This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Scott Schroeder. Many have forgotten this fallen soldier of the Persian Gulf War, but I have not. Scott Schroeder grew up in a loving family in Wauwatosa and went to Jefferson Elementary, Longfellow Middle, and East High schools. Twenty-five years ago, Scott gave his life protecting this country. I can still remember the shock that former teachers had when they heard the news. Our physical education teacher at the time, Sheldon Rusch, was visibly shaken and I remember him crying throughout the day.
I personally knew the family, as I had one of the sons, Tad, in my fifth-grade class at Jefferson, where I am a teacher. After Scott's death, the family planted trees at each of the Wauwatosa schools he had attended for a memorial. At Jefferson, the entire school participated in the ceremony one sunny spring morning. This moving memorial has been a lasting memory as a teacher. From that day forward, I make sure all the fifth-grade students know the story of Scott and the meaning of how he sacrificed his life so that our country could be safe. I did not want his death in serving his country to be in vain.
One of the books my students read in fifth grade is 'My Brother Sam is Dead.' It is an award-winning book about the American Revolution and it tells how families sacrificed their lives so that the United States could be free. It teaches my students how this country was founded and how difficult it was to overcome overwhelming odds to become independent. I incorporate the story of Scott Schroeder to make a point to my students that if it was not for people like Scott willing to fight for freedom, this country would never have survived. There is a very powerful quote from the book that I have students analyze: 'The dead pay the debt for the living.' I want students to have an appreciation for those who serve in the military and what they are giving up to protect our country.
As we mark another Memorial Day on May 30, please think of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that we may enjoy freedom and liberty.
Thank you for your consideration,
Voting in schools is
an opportunity to teach
I have lived in Wauwatosa for almost 61 years. I went to grade school at Jefferson Elementary School and during my time there people would come into the school to vote. Our teachers always used it as a learning tool and not something to be afraid of. I actually enjoyed seeing all the different people from young to old walk through the doors to do their civic duty. Not allowing people to vote at the schools is a kneejerk reaction, and in my opinion a very unnecessary one. This is a decision that should be made by the citizens of Wauwatosa and now by a few school board members. I think we should take a vote.