For the past 20 years, we have had one or more of our children enrolled in the Delaware City Schools. In that 20 years, we witnessed our district persevere through challenging times. We remember the terrible feeling associated with having our district fall into "Academic Watch." We questioned staying in Delaware. We debated selling our home and moving for the sake of our girls' education. In the end, we chose to stay and have therefore been here to see our schools rise to new levels, specifically that of "Excellent with Distinction."

For the past 20 years, we have had one or more of our children enrolled in the Delaware City Schools. In that 20 years, we witnessed our district persevere through challenging times. We remember the terrible feeling associated with having our district fall into “Academic Watch.” We questioned staying in Delaware. We debated selling our home and moving for the sake of our girls’ education. In the end, we chose to stay and have therefore been here to see our schools rise to new levels, specifically that of “Excellent with Distinction.”

Our daughters found what they needed in the Delaware City Schools and were well-prepared for life after high school. Three of our daughters are proud graduates of Hayes and our youngest is a freshman. Our two oldest girls are college graduates and our third is a college freshman.

Our girls were able to compete for scholarship money and were accepted into the colleges of their choice. They were able to achieve these goals because of the opportunities offered through our schools. The preparation for life after high school came in the classroom, but it was also found on the tennis courts, the marching band fields, the stage, and in the band, orchestra, choir and art programs of our schools. Our girls participated fully in the arts and sports. They took part in after school activities and clubs. Although always challenged in the classroom, it was the enrichment activities that made school the adventure it should be.

Our district has done everything possible to create an atmosphere where quality education can occur. It is paramount that we preserve what our district has built both inside and outside the classroom.

As longtime Delaware County residents, we are pleased to serve our community as co-chairs of the renewal levy campaign for the Delaware Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (MHRS) — providers of mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services for county residents.

Delaware County is a great place to live and raise a family. We support services for our children and families. Mental illness and substance abuse do not discriminate. They present real challenges for persons, regardless of a person’s age, gender, how much money they make, social situation or the amount of willpower possessed. MHRS agencies are there to support our residents, schools and businesses when needed.

In these challenging economic times, MHRS is acutely aware they must be responsible stewards of the public’s resources while working to meet an increasing demand for these essential services. We are pleased that the board has managed its resources in a way that they are not asking for a tax increase, but rather a renewal levy at the current 1-mill amount.

The Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce and dozens of local individuals and organizations are endorsing this levy. They believe, like we do, that the board’s system of agencies is efficient and effective for our community and residents.

More information is available at www.supportmentalhealthand recovery.com. We ask for your support of the renewal levy on Nov. 8.