To the editor:

This week I ran across a quote from Dr. Tony Evans: "Insisting on living in your past will kill your future."

Whether it is the efforts of economic development, local government, or our school corporation, as a community we seem to be very focused on the past.

There is always room for improvement, reflection and humility. We cannot dwell on past decisions that we didn't agree with and continue to punish every leader who follows for the shortcomings of their predecessor.

At some point we have to trust and have the courage to move forward and stand behind those who are willing to step out and lead, several of whom we select through a democratic process.

While you may not agree entirely with the MCS YES Project, can you begin to think of it is as a starting point?

Our public school system is a vibrant part of our community and something we offer to everyone.

It may not be perfect, nothing is; but it touches all of us at some point. Whether you have a current student, shop or eat locally, or own/operate a small business or large corporation - you encounter individuals who are products of the public school system.

Yes, teachers teach and that is an incredibly important factor to remember at all times. But environments, too, play a large role in the capacity to do it effectively. The school referendum is about so much more than bricks and mortar. It is about a community centerpiece where students are encouraged to explore different paths to success through education. It's about a school corporation rich with highly motivated teachers and students where technological resources are used to prepare them for skilled trades and/or global markets.

It is about a community center where music, arts and theater can be explored and enjoyed by participants and patrons of all ages. It is about a tool we can leverage to attract and engage business and industry to locate in our community to increase our tax base and create job opportunities.

It has the potential to become a location for regional entertainment and sporting events, which will in turn generate economic benefits for our community overall.

By voting yes, you are giving your support to further the educational and economic efforts within our community. In order for us to succeed, we must work together. Courageously step out, stand behind our current leaders, identify the next generation of leaders, and lend support and collaborative solutions - not continued, rear-view mirror criticism.

Ashley Hanson-Schutte