Teachers Deserve Better

I am writing in response to "An Ex-Teacher's Lament" [Letters, Sept. 12]. The decision Ron Bierman made to leave the Loudoun County school system is not only "sad and frustrating" to him personally, but to parents of children in the Loudoun school system. Mr. Bierman stated that he loves teaching and loves helping children. When will teachers (especially male teachers, who are trying to support a family) be compensated for the extremely hard work, dedication, expertise and patience it takes to instruct our children?

People in other professions clock in at 8 and clock out at 5. Not so with a good teacher. He (or she) spends hours grading papers, making lesson plans, researching topics, attending PTO meetings and sponsoring clubs. Many teachers make themselves available for tutoring in the mornings or after school. When will we wise up and pay these professionals what they deserve? Mr. Bierman was not seeking to own a mansion or a Lear jet. He only wanted to live comfortably and raise his family the way God intended, but he could not afford to on a teacher's salary.

What a pity. Although I never knew Ron Bierman, I am sorry he had to leave our school system. Having two children in Potomac Falls High School (one of whom has eight female teachers), it makes me wonder if Mr. Bierman had been given a decent salary, maybe I would be seeing him at back-to-school night. Instead he will be seeking another profession--how sad and frustrating.

MARTHA A. SPAHR

Sterling

A Worthwhile Debate

I would like to thank the League of Women Voters and the Sterling Foundation for sponsoring the debate between Sugarland Board of Supervisors candidates Bernie Way and Bill Bogard on Sept. 14 ["Sugarland Run Foes Share Only the Desire to Win," Sept. 16]. The debate effectively highlighted the candidates' different viewpoints, demonstrating that voters in Sugarland have a clear choice between the two persons running for their next supervisor.

Although the debate was well done and informative, only a handful of Sugarland residents attended, which was very disappointing. The November elections are extremely important. Loudoun voters will choose their Board of Supervisors, School Board, state delegates and senator. The decisions Loudoun citizens make on Election Day are decisions that will affect them close to home, since voters will choose the local officials who will decide what direction our county takes on many critical issues, such as growth, public education and county services, to name only a few.

Mainstream Loudoun encourages citizens to attend the debates scheduled in their districts in order to make a more informed decision on Election Day. Please watch your newspaper for information on the time and place of the debates. Be an informed citizen and get out to vote on Nov. 2, 1999.

ELAINE WILLIAMSON

President, Mainstream Loudoun