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On May 21, 2019, we the residents of Minidoka County have the opportunity to vote for a local school bond for the Minidoka School District. I am a lifelong resident of Minidoka County. In fact, I am a third generation graduate of the Minidoka School District. My grandmother was a graduate of Heyburn High School. My mother, my wife and our three children all graduated from Minico High School. With that said, I am proud of the community I live in and the history of the Minidoka School District. Our family generation is even deeper than attending school in Minidoka County. My grandfather was the bus garage manager for several years and my great uncle was a principle in the Minidoka School District.

Why do I share this bit of history with you? I share because I have benefitted from the education offered through the district. I would like to see our district continue to be a leader in the community. I have had the opportunity to work with our educators recently and have shared the vision for increasing programs to provide career paths for our students. As you look around our community, our economy has continually improved. We want students to know of the opportunities that exist right here in the community. In order to provide students with future growth options, our educators need the tools to train and teach. Part of these tools needed is the increase of building space.

I have participated with the Minico Ag Advisory Committee in gaining an understanding of what is offered to students. I for one, always that that Ag and FFA classes were only for students planning to go into farming. I was wrong. Students enrolled in Ag classes can get credits for science, communication, and elective courses. Students who do not plan to go on to college can learn trades in welding, diesel mechanics, auto body repair, cabinet making, and many other skills. Minico’s welding program has been so successful, three of their students recently competed in Weld Wars at CSI in Twin Falls and won first place. They also won $500.00 scholarships. These students also have job offers. This is great for our district and community. The unfortunate part is, our shops and trade classes are too small to continue offering competitive courses for the trades.

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As we move forward with progress, our schools need to progress as well. The lack of technology and infrastructure will cost more if we do not update now. As business professionals come to the community to look at expansion opportunities, they want to know about our educational system. If we are not moving forward with technology and infrastructure, they are turned away from accepting jobs, building new business and investing in our future.

I encourage you to vote on May 21, 2019 in favor of the school bond for Minidoka County. Our future is in our youth and students. The investment in them is an investment for our future. Please contact the Minidoka School District Office if you have question. I am in favor of the future of our community and the Minidoka School Bond.

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Chet Jeppesen, a Minidoka County resident, is a workforce consultant at the Mini-Cassia office of the Idaho Department of Labor.

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