To the Editor,

I am currently a sophomore at Waxahachie Global High. I came to Waxahachie Global High because of the possibilities it would open for my future. I knew coming in that extracurricular activities like athletics, band, and choir would not be offered at the school. I also knew coming in that Waxahachie Global High is not only an Early College High School, but a STEM school where I have the opportunity to graduate with my associateís degree in addition to my high school diploma.

I made the choice to come to Waxahachie Global High; no one forced my decision on me, and no one, including myself, expected it. Ever since I moved to Waxahachie, I knew for a fact that I was going to attend Waxahachie High School. My plan was to play baseball for the high school, and maybe band, and hopefully get an athletics scholarship to fund my college career.

Iíve played baseball since I was 4 years old, and Iíve been a select baseball player since I was 10. Iím a left-handed pitcher who can also play first base and outfield, and Iím comfortable with a bat in my hands. I played with a 16U AAA team at the age of 13 (if youíre not familiar with youth baseball, 16U means that the team mainly consists of 15- and 16-year-olds, and AAA means that it is a fairly competitive select team), and a 17U major team at the age of 15 (major is the highest skill level in select baseball). In addition to my baseball career, I used to be a saxophone player. I played alto saxophone in sixth and seventh grade, and was quite often first chair. I say these things not to brag about my abilities, but to attempt to give you an idea of what I had to consider when making my choice of which high school to attend.

Another aspect I had to consider when choosing my high school was my familyís ability to pay for my education and extracurricular activities. My mother and father both work and make good money, but they support seven people, one of which is pushing 80 and two of which are 4-year-old twins. The money is spread thin, as you could probably guess. We always get by, but rarely get ahead. I had to choose between continuing my baseball career or getting a college degree. Baseball is my passion, but where baseball is a one-in-a-million shot of success, a college degree is a guarantee.

As you know, I chose to go to Waxahachie Global, and it is quite possibly the best choice Iíve ever made. The atmosphere in the building is unlike any other school Iíve ever been to. At Waxahachie Global, there are no special students. There are no groups or cliques of the popular kids and I truly feel like I fit in here. I have probably made more friends in the past year and a half at Waxahachie Global than in the rest of my academic career. At Waxahachie Global High School, every student cares deeply about their education, and we all get along. When I talk to my teachers, they agree. Some teachers come from school districts where fighting, gangs, drugs, and alcohol were commonplace. One of my teachers told me that in his old school district, he broke up about two or three fights a week. That same teacher has never had to break up so much as a heated argument at Waxahachie Global.

While Iím on the subject, let me say that the teachers here are like no others. They truly, truly care about their studentsí success. I honestly cannot describe how much they care about the kids they teach. Not only do they care about education, they are very good at what they do. Each and every teacher will do anything they can to help a student understand something or to help them complete an assignment. I have never had a teacher or any staff member prior to Waxahachie Global High that cared as much about me as the men and women here.

Recently in a news article, I found out about a plan to build a new high school and move Waxahachie Global in with it. I have absolutely no problem with the idea of building a new high school. I understand Waxahachieís desire for a new campus; Iíll admit that when I saw Red Oakís new school, with the massive dome dominating the view or Midlothianís brand new beautiful campus, I was a bit jealous. I believe that if WISD has the money, the desire, and the motive for building a new school, then more power to them. Let them do it. My problem lies in the second part of the plan. Waxahachie Global is great because it is separate. It works because of its isolation. Moving Waxahachie Global in with Waxahachie High School would eliminate that isolation and open students at Waxahachie Global to many of the problems that they came to Waxahachie Global to escape. There are no bullies at Waxahachie Global; there would be on a campus with students from both schools. There are no fights or conflicts; there would be on a campus with students from both schools. There are no students who donít want to learn; there would be on a campus with students from both schools. There are no teachers that donít care about their students; there would be on a campus with students from both schools. Waxahachie Global High is a family. Merging the schools would erode that sense of kinship.

Weíve also been made aware, according to the news article, of a plan to force out-of-district students to pay up to $4,000 each year to attend Waxahachie Global. The idea is great, except for one small part. Most of the students that attend Waxahachie Global High do so because they canít afford college tuition. Making those students that arenít from Waxahachie pay for their school isnít an option. Some people may offer this solution to the problem: kick out the students that are out-of-district. Again, that idea would work, aside from one issue: about half of the Waxahachie Global students are out-of-district. Kicking them out would quickly lead to a school that couldnít fund itself, which in turn would lead to the end of the school. At the end of my freshman year, we moved to Ovilla, so I myself am now out-of-district. I made the choice to come to Waxahachie Global because of the fact that my family canít afford my college tuition; I understand that many other students are in the same situation, including those that are out-of-district. Making students leave because they donít live in Waxahachie is not fair to those students. They deserve the place in Waxahachie Global that they earned.

From the average onlookerís perspective, I myself should have nothing to worry about. After all, none of these proposed changes will affect me directly. However, it would affect the students coming up behind me as well as the future of the school I love. The reason Waxahachie Global is what it is, the reason that I have the opportunities that I have, is because the students before me paved the way. They handled the small privileges they were given with tremendous success, and as a result, received nothing in return. The rewards given were given to us, the students that followed in their footsteps. They stood up and gave us more opportunities than many people imagined, and while I may not be able to do the same, I will give everything I have to ensure that those behind me have the same opportunities that were passed down to me.

I would like to end this letter with gratitude, gratitude towards the men and women at Waxahachie Global for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime and gratitude toward you, the reader, for taking the time to hear my voice. I would also like to issue a challenge to you, the reader. I challenge you to make sure my voice is heard. If you have read this letter to this point, it obviously has some amount of significance to you. Changes can only take hold when people who care make themselves heard. Ideologies die when those who care do not speak out. Do not let this message die. Thank you for taking the time to hear my voice.

Cade Fleaher,

Student of Waxahachie Global High School