Oakville High student will not vote for Heins

To the editor:

After reading all of the Mehlville Board of Education candidates’ responses to the Call’s questionnaire, only Mr. (Mike) Heins pointed to the success of the district’s exceptional students in both the National Merit Scholar program and the ACT.

While I do not deny this recent success, I do deny that Mr. Heins should be using this success to boost his re-election campaign for this school district.

Since I am one of the National Merit Finalists he refers to, I should note that my dad played a huge role in getting me to take the PSAT — the qualifying test for the National Merit program. The district did not do that.

Furthermore, most of the prominent colleges I’ve applied to require the SAT Subject tests in addition to the classic SAT Reasoning Test. The district did not tell me about that. Last year, I independently studied for two AP exams because I learned that I did not need to take an AP class to take the test. The district did not inform me about that.

Granted, there are some teachers in the district who helped point me in the right direction or made some inroads here and there, but neither the district as a whole nor Mr. Heins deserve credit for creating an environment that promotes the kind of success other students and I have had. The resources and help available to exceptional students at my high school are quite substandard. When another student and I were applying to Stanford online, we could not find our high school among their list of schools.

Another student I know had to go through a jungle of red tape just to prove that she could place into a higher class in math. Taking all of this into account, is this recent academic success the product of Mr. Heins and the district or the students, their parents and some teachers?

My former principal, Dr. (Eric) Knost, always reminded his students about the importance of choices and their consequences.

Mr. Heins can choose to play off the academic excellence of some students when he has contributed little to it, but as a consequence of that choice, I will call him out for it, and I will choose not to vote for him.

Mike Wacker

Oakville High School senior