McCulloch County residents have a chance this week to take a giant step forward toward securing the progress of this community. Saturday’s election in Brady will have two items on the ballot’three if you live in the district that has one BISD board member up for election. The constitutional amedment to correct an error will most likely pass as long as people vote. The BISD seat will affect many but will be decided by a few, but the $14.5 million bond election to build a new high school in Brady will send the loudest message to everyone about what people want to see happen to Brady. If it passes, the message will be that we, the citizens, are interested in seeing this town catch up with the rest of the bunch that is leading the way toward the future. And yes, the future is what we are talking about. Each and every child that is in school, and children that are not yet born who will attend school in the BISD district will be affected by Saturday’s vote tally. A vote for the bond will be a vote of confidence in this community that we are excited and confident about where we want this community to be in the future’at the head of the pack, or at the very least, part of that lead pack. Vote ‘no,’ and it will be a slap in the face for this community and squelch the chance to show other schools and towns that we are proud of where we are and where we are headed. I have heard arguments in school board meetings about what actually makes an education. Bottom line is the education is done by the teacher. Period. No argument there. But, in a school district where the physical structure of the high school is as old as most of the students’ grandparents, there is a perception by the students of how we, as parents and community members, view the importance of the students. Maintaining a status quo is directly translated into the perception the students have. I know, I was fortunate enough to attend middle school in a completly brand new facility in Allen. When I moved on to high school, I was also fortunate to move to a campus that had an entirely new wing, band hall, auditorium and gymnasium and cafeteria all added on. Even then, as a student, I recall the pride I felt in my school knowing that I was attending a campus that was new and something in which I could be proud. As a parent of elementary school-aged children, self confidence is one character trait that I see on a daily basis. It is my opinion that this one trait weighs more heavily than any other on how one will act, both in a classroom and at home and in the community. I also know, for a fact, for some of the children who attend school in Brady, the only boost in their self confidence is what they receive while in the classroom thanks to the teachers who care not only about their job, but about their students. Brady High School teachers need the boost of confidence by the community showing their support for what they are doing. They need the opportunity to bolster their pride in their school by being proud of their new classroom. Liken it to driving a new car. Not everyone is afforded the opportunity to drive a new car. I would venture a guess that everyone would like the opportunity, but for some, it is just not feasible. I drove a 1978 Toyota Celica as my very first car. When I purchased it, there was already 96,000 miles on it. But, it had air conditioning and the gas mileage was not bad and for a high schooler, it was transportation. I was happy. I got that car in 1986 and drove that car for the remainder of high school, through five years of college and for another year after that until I had a good job and the money and could afford a new vehicle. When I finally traded in that Celica, it had 226,000 miles on it, the air conditioning was hot-wired, the interior had fallen apart due to dry rot, the engine had been overhauled twice while I owned it, the brakes were replaced and so on and so on. Bottom line was, it still ran and got the job done, but putting bandages on the breaks were temporary fixes and still left me wanting to own something of which I could be proud. I still remember the anticipation and exhiliaration when I pulled onto the lot to pick up my new truck and the pride and self confidence I had when I left in that shiny new vehicle. Sure, I had a payment to make, but it was worth every penny. I had worked to achieve that goal, and I drove down the road with my head held high and my self confidence bolstered. Perception, yes, but sometimes that is all it takes. Brady High School is that Celica. The miles are high and the brakes are squealing. Sure you can send it to the shop and pay a lot of money to keep it running, but it will always be that same old Celica and as the students drive it down the road, when they pull up to a stoplight, they will duck and hide rather than sit with their heads held high. There is a time when one needs to evaluate the “car” they are driving. The BISD board of trustees have done that with our school and with their information, they have deemed it wise to ask the voters to take advantage of an opportunity that, I dare say, will never be afforded us again by the legislature. We can vote ‘yes’ for this bond and continue to pay the same level of taxes as we have been and build a new school and bolster our future. The costs for building a new school will likely never be lower then they are right now. We missed the boat in 1985 when a bond for a new high school failed. We are here again 22 years later with an even bigger price tag than expected. What will happen if this bond fails, and we bring it up again next time’ What will the costs be then’ How big will the bandages be and how much will they cost 20 years from now’ It’s time for this community to step up to the plate and show that we mean business. A vote for the bond election this weekend will be the next step in this community’s efforts to prove that we are proud of who we are and where we live.