Friday, June 02, 2023


Letter: Despite Budget Cuts, ‘We’re in Good Hands’

To the Editor:

Budget cuts or not, we’re in good hands.

Recently many have been worried about the future of our schools. I’ve been looking for a way to explain why I’m not worried about the future of our schools — not yet anyway, and tonight I found it.

I don’t know what will happen with our budget, but I know that our students will always be in good hands and in great schools regardless.

In support of fellow WEMS volunteer Ben Frimmer and several kids that I’ve watched over the years, I went and saw Coleytown Company’s performance of “Cinderella” — directed by Ben and put on by the kids of Coleytown Middle School.

I walked in the front door and although it was after-hours, the school was alive with energy.

Coleytown middle-schoolers watched as their lobby filled with people from all walks of life; Dr. Palmer was able to take a breath from Myrtle Avenue and enjoy one of our district’s greatest traditions along with parents, teachers, students, neighbors, and other community members.

The house lights dimmed and the show that ensued was nothing short of spectacular. This was our school district at work.

Students transformed into confident and talented performers right before our eyes. Parents clapped and cried in the audience as their child graced the stage.

The Company took their final bow and the show was over. Many made sure to shake hands with Mr. Frimmer over another job well done before leaving, while others milled around outside to catch up with one another or wait, flowers in hand, for their performer to emerge from backstage.

Without the teachers, students, and parents in our district — this show wouldn’t have happened. A direct line for some to a future career on Broadway would never be possible.

The opportunity to gain a sense of self esteem would be nonexistent. It’s not the budget that made this happen though — it’s the people.

Our town, usually viewed as a mini-Manhattan by most, took on the small town feeling that many seem to miss about the “Old Westport.”

If you’re worried about the future for our students, go to a school play — see what great hands the future is in. Get a snapshot of Westport’s greatest asset — its people — straight from stage-left.

Jaime Bairaktaris

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