Dear Mr. Bates,

Several years ago we chose to open enroll our son into the Green Lake School District. Many of our friends were surprised as Ripon has a reputation for having the “best” academic stats, etc. and Green Lake is reputed to not do so well. I stood my ground, took a deep breath and prayed things would work out well.

This weekend my family and I will be celebrating our son’s graduation. Not only is he graduating but he is starting college at Fox Valley Tech. on Friday (before he graduates). I have never been so pleased in my life. I didn’t think he’d make it but he proved me wrong.

I must commend your staff on all they have done for our family, especially Brendan. Without their guidance, belief and confidence, Brendan may not have succeeded. Mr. Mathies has gone above and beyond to help us with our struggles and Mrs. Allen has been very supportive as well.

As I look back, I am proud to say “My son graduated from Green Lake High” and I would recommend any other parents to take that step and open enroll as well. Just because you are a small school, doesn’t mean that kids sacrifice learning...it only means the teachers play a bigger role in the students’ lives and everyone knows each other’s names.

So, with that said, thank you for the past seven years of your role in teaching and helping our son succeed.

Please feel free to pass this on to the school board and teachers as well. You all should be proud of the outstanding job you continue to do.

Tami Conlon
Production Supervisor/Graphic Artist

Open Letter to Green Lake Staff:

Thank you for the care and guidance you provided for Megan and Matt during their developmental years in the Green Lake
schools. We appreciate that every person on staff, including the teachers, coaches, administrators, support staff, and bus
drivers, had a positive influence on Megan’s and Matt’s skill development and personal growth. We are fortunate to have
been able to raise our children in a nurturing community where youth are encouraged and education is valued.

When we asked for a list of people who have influenced her life, Megan immediately started to list Green Lake school staff
members. As the list grew, I inquired if she intended to list everyone on staff. In her typical practical manner, she responded
that “well, I don’t want to leave anyone out.” Therefore, to ensure we haven’t left anyone out, the entire Green Lake School
staff is invited to join us on June 4 to celebrate Megan’s graduation. In essence, this is also a celebration to honor the
teachers, coaches, and others who have contributed the growth of Megan and her classmates since Kindergarten.

Although Megan missed her classmates and personalized attention during her senior year at a different school, she
successfully made the transition to a larger school (graduating class = 400 students) and community. She maintained her high
grades, established friendships with several charming and responsible classmates, and participated in three varsity sports.
Next year she will attend the University of Minnesota to study early childhood education and special education. Ultimately,
she wants to provide therapy services for young children with special needs and their families.

Like his sister, Matt has expressed his appreciation for the many opportunities he had in Green Lake to explore a broad range
of activities. Both Megan and Matt have discovered that students from larger school districts typically must be selective in
their class and activity options, and students must take on more responsibility to advocate for themselves. Matt and Megan
value that the Green Lake staff encouraged students to explore a variety of activities and class options even if that required
modifications or special accommodations. They feel prepared to adapt into new situations.

Wayne and I are grateful to you all for the influence you have had on our children. Thank you for encouraging and
challenging Megan and Matt. We are proud of the caring, interesting individuals they are, and we look forward to watching
them blossom as they move into adulthood. Matt expects to graduate next year from Luther College with majors in
Psychology and Management. He continues to love life and has enjoyed his time at Luther where he plays football, performs
in choirs, and carries out Resident Assistant duties.

Best wishes as you wrap up the school year. May you have a restful and peaceful summer break.
During those occasional moments when you have doubts, please find a way to remind yourself of the many ways you have
positively impacted the hundreds of remarkable young people who have passed through the Green Lake schools. You have
much to be proud of.

Susan Sharkey

Green Lake School District • 612 Mill Street, Green Lake, WI 54941 • (920) 294-6411 • Fax: (920) 294-6589
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