Mr Swantz Letter

August 2019

Dear members of the 1964 Graduating Class of McHenry Community High School,


Congratulations on this significant milestone in lifu. Thanks to the efforts of Richie Phannenstill and others we should all be very proud the successful class effort provide a Viet Nam War memorial to your community. I have a commerative shirt and will wear it proudly!

For several months I was planning to once again join you at this event, but my health took a wrong turn and I am unable to do so. I remain active in the educational communfi as a memberof the La Crosse Public Education Foundation Board (Check out our webslte) which I started nearly 40 years ago. Serving as a teacher, high school princlpal, superintendent and Director of the School of Education UWL. results ln my work with parents, children, schools, teachers and educatlonal policy makers for nearly 50 years. . So I have observed and learned much during my tenure and, given my special relationship with this class and,.... the fact that many of you are parent$ grandparents or concerned citizens , I will close with a few observations and recommendations for your consideration.

1.   As I have met many of you at former reunions, I flnd it anteresting that you often began our conversation  with " I wasn't a very good student in high school" lt is important to be the best student you can in high school, But there are meny, many other factors that are importent too. This class has provided me with ample evidence to the contrary. Withcut using individual names I have met many members of thls class who are outstanding examples of parenthood and citiaenship...and guess what..,,they dld not recelve a A/B in Swantz's Amerlcan history class.

2. Be kind to one another, love and care for allchildren, and keep learning..

3. Find the courage to confront folks who criticize thls countq/s hlstory of welcoming marginalized people from all over the world. lf you do your own history you know your family probably benefited from that policy. You also know in your heart that it is the right thing to do.

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

Your old, 84 year old American History teacher,


Dick Swantz