I’ll never forget the first time I voted. It was 1995, my senior year in high school. My government teacher, Mr. Cyr, instilled in me the importance of voting and being an educated voter. He, along with my grandfather, who always talked about the voting process, made it possible for me to understand why I was casting my ballot that year.
I knew from these role models that if you don’t vote, you can’t make a difference, and you also can’t complain. It’s the one chance an individual has for his or her voice to be heard.
One of my present-day mentors, Mr. Deason, who was a former Lufkin Middle School principal, always said if you have good information, you can make good decisions.
Here’s some information about the Lufkin ISD bond that will help our Lufkin voters make good decisions:
■ There are 100 entrances to Lufkin Middle School, with 21 separate buildings covering 75 acres.
■ More than 1,700 students change classes eight times a day.
■ More than 100 Lufkin High School students drive throughout the city multiple times a day for extracurricular activities.
■ Lufkin Middle School was built as a high school in 1955.
■ It would take $5 million to $10 million in repairs to the Lufkin Middle School HVAC system, plumbing and to bring it up to code.
■ $560,000 is spent annually for electricity at Lufkin Middle School alone.
■ There is not a competition gym for middle school students.
■ The total bond request is for $75 million dollars with 80 percent going to build a new Lufkin Middle School, 13 percent for a Lufkin High School multipurpose facility and 7 percent for Lufkin High School athletic fields.
My grandfather died 17 years ago, and it feels just like yesterday when he would stress to me the importance of participating in the voting process. He talked about the freedoms we share as Americans.
He no longer can vote and neither can all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice dying for our country. However, their voices live on as we take part in the voting process. I don’t take this privilege lightly. Early voting is through Tuesday. Election Day is Saturday. Let your voice be heard. #LufkinVotes
LaTonya Goffney is the superintendent of Lufkin ISD. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.