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Thursday, July 10th, 2003 @ 6:27 PM
Subj: STHS Field Use
From: gingerbuss@prodigy.net (Ginger Buss)

I had the opportunity to personally speak with Councilman Forrest Williams after church last Sunday. He just happened to be a guest speaker. I asked him if he ever got involved with school problems. He said yes and asked me what school. I told him Santa Teresa. He held his hands up and said that he was well aware of what was happening. I shared with him my concern and frustration of how a handful of neighbors could govern what took place at the school. His advice? Speak up and let our voices be heard louder than the opponents. He said to flood the District Office just as the "Coalition" had done. I immediately set out to do that. I wrote a letter to all of the Board of Trustees, to the school administrators and to the Mercury News. I heard back from one Trustee. "Do I believe there is room for improvement in the current policy? YES! And as with this issue, the continuous improvement process is a journey, not a destination. The journey for this issue continues. Keep up the good work and again, please feel free to contact the Board President directly to converse with him at his public number, 729-3803." So I continued to write. I have since heard from the former Principal who said,

"I encourage you to make your voice louder. It worked with a handful of residents! they went to every Board meeting for months and their spokesperson continues to attend the Board meetings to make sure the members don’t change their minds." Then I heard from the present Principal. She is behind us completely. She suggested that we go out into the neighborhoods and find out exactly how many people were for and how many were against field usage and the hour restrictions. I feel that we have a very strong administrator who is willing to back us up. There is one administrator who seems to want to appease the neighbors more than worrying about the children of the school. What right does a small neighborhood group have to dictate when it is and is not okay to practice on our own school fields. This is ridiculous. Why should they be the voice for the entire community. I have lived on Cree Ct. for 25 1/2 years and at times I can hear our band playing. To me that is a great sound because it means that those students are working hard as representatives of Santa Teresa High School. I attend football games and baseball games and am proud watching our athletes compete, representing our school. Long before my husband and I had children we were attending athletic functions at ST. Our two children graduated in 1996 and 2000. We are still attending games. My husband has even joined the coaching staffs. This is our community and we are proud of the efforts that these students are putting out to be a small part of the history of Santa Teresa High School. The following is an email reply that I received from Millie Brink, the new Principal. "In talking with Mr. Gaston it would be helpful if we knew how many families surrounding the school (on Suisse and Banner in particular) are actually part of the “alliance” and are disturbed by ST athletic teams, cheerleaders and band practice. A door-to-door campaign with signed names on a petition is going to be a concrete piece of information to give to the Board.

Impassioned pleas from coaches and parents are well-meaning, but if the “alliance” truly represents the 200+ families it claims to represent, then we can’t just ignore their concerns. If, however, the number of actual households disturbed by ST field use is pr oven to be much smaller (and in fact may be only 5 or 6 households) then the claim of “nuisance” is not as strong.

We really need the help and support of the parents to canvas the neighborhood. We (ST and the Board) may be hearing from only a vocal minority. Many citizens living in houses surrounding ST may not even be aware of this conflict and turmoil going on around them. I feel time spent in getting concrete evidence for the board will be time well spent. Again, thank you

Millie Brink

We need to not accept what the neighbors are offering but take back control completely. This is OUR community and OUR school.Sincerely, Ginger Buss

Ginger

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