I graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School in 2009. At that point in time, just over 60 people were in my graduating class. It has only declined since then.
When will the voters learn? The value of institutional autonomy serves no one any good. It doesn't serve the current students attending the school any good and it won't serve the dwindling number of potential students any good. The voters of Westfield should have considered themselves lucky to have the opportunity to merge with Brocton. A blessing at that. We should have looked at the concept of merging with Ripley as a blessing but we didn't.
The voters in Westfield are stuck in decades past and either don't care about the future of this village or are ignorant of it. People like myself, people who grew up in this village and spent their entire lives here, have no reason to want to raise their families here. I will not be raising my family in Westfield when I graduate from college; when I have the opportunity to be a successful, contributing member of society.
Because the voters in this village refuse to accept the future, they refuse to move forward. The voters in this village likely didn't have the opportunity to graduate from a high school that offered few, if any, extracurricular activities. Even with straight A's, how can we expect our children to get into decent colleges without having the opportunity to have something on their transcript other than basic classes? I don't want my children to be stuck having the same bleak future of getting into the college of their choice because they're stuck with barebones education.
Do voters in this village enjoy seeing the musicals this school puts on? Well, they can likely say goodbye to those. That'll get cut. How about sports? Do you enjoy seeing our young athletes compete against other schools? Say goodbye to that as well. Not only does that harm this village, it harms the students. My advice to parents raising their children in this community is to move. Do your children a favor and give them a better shot at a bright future from a high school that is willing to give them what they deserve. Just because voters in this village are fond of meat and potatoes, doesn't mean that's all we should give our students.
Laura Imm is a 2009 Westfield Academy and Central School graduate.