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Mon., Nov. 24
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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Potsdam/Canton merger chance of a lifetime

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To The Editor:

I have been following the discussions with reference to the Canton/Potsdam Merger Feasibility with much interest and I would like to offer my opinion and comments. I started my education in the school in Morley where my family lived. I transferred to Canton Jr.-Sr. High School shortly after it was built for seventh grade and went on to graduate with the CHS Class of 1960.

After being away on Long Island for a decade, I returned to the north country to raise my family in Morley. Both of my children attended and graduated from the Canton School system. I ran for the Canton Board of Education in 1973 and won a seat which I held until 1990 when I resigned for family reasons. I served on the board for 17 years and was chair for seven.

I have very strong opinions about consolidation of school districts. I think of it as being like the original centralization. I thought the school in Morley was a great school until I got to Canton and saw all the things that were offered of which Morley had very few.

There were more and better class offerings, sports, music, drama and all kinds of activities. I got involved in everything. I was like a kid in a candy store. There was a wider world that I had not yet even thought about. There were kids from other communities like myself that I soon would get to know.

I think this consolidation is the opportunity of a lifetime. We have here the chance to do great good for the education of the children of these two communities. We need to put aside the petty differences between the schools and enthusiastically support this consolidation.

After all the Golden Bear and the Sandstoner are only sports mascots, and they add little to the ultimate goal which is (or should be) the best education we can provide for our children.

I have heard most of the arguments for not doing this consolidation, but most pale when compared to the benefits that will come with the new consolidated district. I have not even mentioned the economic advantages to the taxpayers of both districts which in my opinion are substantial. I urge both districts to embrace this consolidation and move forward for better educational opportunities for the students of both districts.

Yours truly

Donald A. Potter

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