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I love living in a city where the residents care deeply about the course we carve as evidenced in letters and columns, not always in agreement, every week in the Review.

In response to Keith Ketterling's 'Alabama' column in the Jan. 5 Review, it appears to me that he is detecting dissension where none exists over the subject of high school parity, referring to sides of the lake as Auburn and Alabama.

There is indeed a war between sides of the lake - a healthy war of hijinx familiar to any dual high school city. I enjoy watching our kids battle it out on the fields, on the courts or on Facebook, but the battle of school pride does not, nor should it ever extend into classroom offerings. In that regard there is no battle. None. To promote that perception undermines the motives of those who brought the issue of disparity before the school board.

They acted with full understanding that the board does not answer to whims of parents representing one or the other high school but rather the entire district.

There is undeniably some imbalance currently in the academic class availability between the high schools, but it is entirely fixable. We have thankfully elected school board members who are both intelligent and tough enough to identify the factors that led to this, execute the corrections and learn from past oversights in order to prevent their recurrence. I don't know of a single parent who takes our revered schools for granted and there should be no apologies about the effort exerted to keep them this way. This is not a war between factions. We all have a duty to maintain our school district. Questioning the school board's decisions is an important step in the transparent process LOSD requires to remain at the top.

An unfortunate victim of this dilemma may be the LOSD Foundation. Year after year, the foundation raises funds to supplement state spending and hire teachers for all of our schools. Already there are rumblings from donors who feel their money is not being equitably applied. The key to keeping LOSD strong is keeping the foundation strong. I encourage continued support of the remarkable LOSD Foundation, our secret weapon in the war on mediocrity.

I also urge everyone to join me by standing united and applauding the work of our school board in its willingness to listen to its constituents, address problems and make mindful decisions on behalf of the entire district.

Mary Ann Kunkel is a Lake Oswego resident and Lakeridge parent who believes school pride should not be limited to the high school sports programs. (Go Pacer AP Art!)

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