Monday, August 02, 2021

Give great teachers a little boost

| July 16, 2021 1:00 AM

It’s a sad but true sign of the times.

You’re being asked to pick sides in the public education war.

Yes, war.

For years, the degree to which public education needs a tune-up or overhaul has been vigorously debated. But the national discussion has reached a new low or high, depending upon your perspective. One side says our kids and grandkids are being indoctrinated and led down a path that ends in the gnashing of teeth and the ruin of this republic.

The other side says hold on, just a second: There is no sweeping conspiracy to undermine the moral and intellectual makeup of tomorrow’s leaders. As with everything else these days, political entrenchment is preventing what could otherwise be a very healthy discussion about how to make a good system better.

Acknowledging these realities, many of you reading this editorial support our public schools and the people who make them work. The proof is passage by voters of measures to take on higher taxes for the good of thousands of local students.

Today we’re asking public school supporters to step up again. Doing so will honor a distinguished family and advance the ability of Coeur d’Alene School District teachers to do their jobs.

On Thursday, July 29, the Duane and Lola Hagadone home on Lake Coeur d’Alene will welcome hundreds of guests in an important fundraiser for the school district. The EXCEL Foundation event supplies thousands of dollars that go to educators via grants for innovative classroom projects. The Press has chronicled many of these amazing projects over the years and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come.

The source of this year’s fundraiser is deserving of comment. Duane Hagadone, who died on April 24 at the age of 88, was a champion of local public education. His widow, Lola, is cut from the same pro-education cloth. In fact, Lola was a member of the original EXCEL Foundation board, so despite her husband’s passing, she’s intent on carrying through with this fundraiser. All costs are absorbed by the Hagadones so all the money raised can go directly to EXCEL.

If you’d like to help your local teachers and, by extension, their students, please buy tickets to the July 29 event. The cost is $150 per person ($200 for VIP treatment, which includes a 1-hour lake cruise before the event). You can also simply make a donation. For more information, visit:

Take a stand in this war. Support our most creative and innovative teachers and their lucky students.