Reader: Myrick puts herself before constituents


On Veterans Day, it is important to remember and honor the great sacrifices of those who have made our freedoms possible. Far too often, we forget how truly blessed and fortunate we are to live in the United States of America. Through the years, men and women have laid down their lives so we can live free. As such, we have a duty to protect these hard fought gains and not to squander or diminish these incredible opportunities bequeathed to us as Americans. Clearly, this applies particularly strongly to elected members of Congress, and that is why I am writing.

Congresswoman Sue Myrick abruptly cancelled her appearance at four separate 10th anniversary events of the 9/11 attacks. She claimed she was the intended target of international terrorists. She even claimed to having worn a bulletproof vest. Personally, I thought she was nuts, intentionally lying and had cancelled her appearances simply because she would no longer be representing those areas in her new congressional district, which was re-drawn due to the latest Census.

I believed then, and still believe today, Sue Myrick flat out lied to the voters and simply blew off the 9/11 10th anniversary events because those attending would no longer be her voters come the 2012 election. I am a very active member of the Republican Party  and as such, have recently received a request to attend a public fundraising event for Sue Myrick, who is running for re-election to Congress for the 16th year in a row. I had also been invited to a Sept. 18 fundraiser for her.

How can she have fundraisers when she needs to wear a bulletproof vest and is a target of international terrorists? Perhaps the way she claims to be for balanced budgets, when she in fact voted to raise the debt-ceiling cap in 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011. She has consistently put her own self-interests and financial desires above the district’s and nation’s, and I find that reprehensible.

When Sue Myrick was first elected to Congress, we had a budget surplus and were paying down the nation’s debt. Since she’s been there, the debt’s grown by over $10 trillion, as she voted to raise the debt-ceiling cap during eight separate years. She took pay raises and money from special-interest groups, lobbyists and political action committees, all beneficiaries of increased budgets. It is unconscionable. Sue Myrick repeatedly lied to the voters and sold us out for her own self-interests.

– Bill McManus, Davidson

Lake Norman Charter building student success through teamwork


Many schools pride themselves on building leaders for the future, but how many schools implement lessons to enhance this goal? Here at Lake Norman Charter High School, we are doing just that. Lake Norman Charter’s motto is “Together we learn, lead and serve,” and in order to help students successfully achieve our mission statement, teachers met during the 2010-11 school year to design meaningful lessons to implement our school’s motto. As of this year Lake Norman Charter Leadership Integration is in full steam.

Each grade focuses on a certain characteristic of leadership, such as character, global awareness, local compassion and citizenship. One particular program worth mentioning is the Leadership Integration Program called Big Knight Little Knight, where incoming freshmen are paired with a senior buddy. This program was designed by high school teachers Natasha Miles, Leigh Ann Williams and myself and student-led by seniors Rachel Gebelein, Erin Knapp, Justin Moore and Matthew Wine. Big Knight Little Knight focuses on the importance of team building, leadership, trust, problem solving, as well as many others skills needed for success in the future.

On the first day of Leadership Integration, students were introduced to their buddies. As names were called out, students started clapping and cheering for each new family. Students coined the term family rather than mentor because they felt as if the program is not just about mentoring but making each student feel part of a family.

The main goal is to empower freshman to become leaders and help them transition into high school. At the end of the year, we hope to build confident, strong, and empowered freshman that will continue to lead and serve Lake Norman Charter’s legacy.

The first few meetings deal with building trust and understanding the importance of working as a team. For example, one activity, called “Hungry Hungry Knight,” asked for a student to be lowered to the ground to receive balls placed in the middle of a mat simply by the use of a bungee cord held by his/her partners. Without trust, this task could not be accomplished.

At the conclusion of each meeting, students are allowed time to reflect on the life skills and talk about how they relate to their success in high school. Toward the end of the year, the group will come together to create a product, a survival guide for incoming freshmen, and leave their mark as students of Lake Norman Charter.

– Danielle Derwich, English teacher, Student Council Co-Advisor, Lake Norman Charter High School