Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

To the Editor,
I am not sure where to begin, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. My granddaughter began life as an Army brat. Her education began in Cottonwood, completing her first two years, then transferring to Fort Lee, Virginia. From there, she continued on to Fort Carson, Colorado, attending school on a base for a couple of years, then on to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
After nine years of moving around, she and her family moved to Fruitland for one year, finally settling in Lewiston.  Cassia started the 6th grade in Lewiston at McSorley and is now attending Lewiston High School. She is currently a sophomore, taking advanced classes along with her regular studies. Cassia is an exceptional student, scoring a perfect score on her most recent ISAT test.
Cassia set her goal to pursue a career in Forensic Science or law, referring to herself as the next “Abbey on NCIS, minus the tattoos.” She has been nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation (CIS) in Washington, D.C., this summer. In this class, Cassia will be academically challenged, encouraged and motivated while taking part in a true-to-life simulation and interacting with prominent law professionals.
She will participate in a program designed for the highest-achieving students in the nation, examining evidence from the crime scene, then onto the trial. Cassia will be taking a role as a prosecutor or defense attorney, to question expert witnesses. She will have a chance to analyze evidence, apply legal reasoning, determine its significance and follow the chain of evidence from the crime scene to the trial.
There is no doubt that Cassia will represent our great State of Idaho and Lewiston High School with respect, honor and dignity.
At this time it is without a doubt, that we are very proud of our granddaughter. Together we are working hard to help her achieve her dream of attending this class. As with anything, this once in a lifetime experience comes with a price. Cassia is busy making plans for car washes, baked food sales and yard sales. But this may not be enough. If you can find it in your heart to help an intelligent, young lady make her dream come true, it would be greatly appreciated. Please send your donations to Cassia Fischer at any U.S. Bank. I want to also thank you in advance for helping her reach her goal, which may help pave her way for her to eventually reach her highest achievements.
Sandy (Ross) and Terry Halbert

Dear Friends,
What forces me to write this letter are the events now taking place that I feel are threatening the very existence of our school, Summit Academy. Currently we have 33 families, 14 staff members and 5 board members all with one mission in mind, to form our youth, 93 children now enrolled, into strong, Christian leaders for the world.  Maybe it is this purpose that has made our school the target of such an attack?  If we adults, cannot, will not or do not work together to overcome this obstacle, it is my belief that Summit could very well be finished with the work God intended for it to do.  My part in this, is to help get all individuals hoping to give their children a Summit education together to build a stronger Summit able to forge on through both the good times and the bad.
This situation began with myself being informed in late February that I would not be offered back my position as Academic Coordinator in the fall of 2012.  Reasons were ultimately shared with me through the evaluation I received.  As many have asked, I will share a few of them with you now briefly and would be happy to share the rest later time if people are interested and want to contact me.
*I was told by the board last spring to let them know about what Roger and I were going to do with our son, Ryan for the 2012-2013 school year. By the time I found out details, Mr. Carey had been hired so I talked with Mr. Carey, the new principal as I felt like that was the chain of command.
*According to Mr. Carey, I spoke poorly about the board in front of faculty members.  When I asked for times, the one time Mr. Carey sited, I disagreed with.
*Putting together the 3rd – 6th grade basketball game during half-time at Senior night was myself disobeying the  information received from IHSAA about keeping kids off the court at half-time.  I thought that the rule applied to the spontaneous play at half-time of kids, not organized activities of the school which we have done each year.
*I had taken down a sign the administration had posted after it was brought to my attention that parents were very offended by it.  I spoke with the principal at the earliest time possible to explain and help him to see that it could be done in a less offensive way.  He disagreed and the sign went back up. 
*I miss appointments – Only when unexpected things arise or things of higher priority come up.
As these are a handful of the reasons and the rest being similar, I do not understand. Maybe there are some of these items that are mistakes in judgment on my part, others, plain mistakes I unknowingly committed. But the formation of the children was never hindered. Furthermore, the principal never informed me that these actions might be threatening my job.
Approximately two months passed before the school board, the principal, my husband and I and Mr. Wren met.  There was no communication other than a meeting between one board member and my husband.  After that meeting, I received a letter from the board informing me that I would also no longer be allowed to teach and that my son Ryan would not be able to enroll at Summit due to his limitations.  They wanted to have a meeting with us with the intention of discussing the future of Summit.  The meeting occurred and discussion went back and forth into the late, late night. The final determination of the school board was summed up the next morning when a board member called Mr. Wren to say the board was not changing their mind and they were sticking to their original decision.
This disagreement, for me, is not about me. For me, it is about my son.  It is about a different direction that this board and administration have chosen to take. I have now heard many things including rumors of families leaving or staying. For reasons I’m sure I don’t even know. I believe Summit Academy was the best option for my own children’s education. I hope that it still can be. The reason I write this letter is not to accuse or just point fingers; the reason I write this letter is to only inform what is going on so hopefully more collaboration can happen between the families of Summit Academy. 
I think we need to all come together and figure this out – I believe we can because I think we all want the same for our kids - to ensure that Summit Academy remains a top educational option with Christ as the foundation. See you Monday night! May God bless you and God bless Summit Academy.
Mrs. Annette Wemhoff

I mean it when I say, “I love my country!” The freedom and the opportunity, the peace and security it provides! I love Idaho…, still one of the remaining places on earth to live in peace and tranquility. I love Cottonwood…. I loved old SGA where I graduated and taught for 10 years…, and Prairie High where I did the same for 30, and from where all my children graduated. Also, I love Summit Academy, and the family atmosphere and spirit I have found there. But the bottom line is, I love my own family above all, and thank the good Lord for them as well as all of the above!
But I am troubled by the alien philosophy which has taken over our country, and is threatening to destroy all that America has meant to us. And recently, the violation of property associated with the break-in of a neighbor’s house is equally troubling! And now we are confronted with a serious threat to our little school, Summit, when and impasse was reached over the type of student allowed to attend, and the dismissal of our founder and long term principal, is threatening the very existence of our school. (See ad in this paper!).
Because “We are family,” I am forced to draw a line in the sand. I cannot be a part of a decision which insists that some parts of our family are no longer tolerated and not welcome to continue attendance at our little school. So, no solution to this impasse forthcoming, my family, all of us, and close to one third of our teaching staff, about a third of our students, and several families, will be gone next year! So I pray that reasonable adults can meet and reach a compromise on this matter! God bless us, our nation, our state, our town and our school!
P.J. Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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