The Spyglass

The student news site of Galena High School.

The Spyglass

The Spyglass

Vote Yes GHS


A few weeks ago math teacher Mrs. Calfee’s classroom was 104 degrees, while upstairs in science teacher Mrs. Bradbury’s room, it was about 54 degrees. This is a 50-degree temperature difference in one building.  The current Galena High School was built in 1957 and has received few updates since then. I have gone to school in this district my whole life. I am now a senior at GHS and have seen firsthand the issues our building holds. The high school needs to be updated due to issues with safety, the need for facility upgrades, and because it is a great investment for our community. Our community needs to vote yes to pass the referendum on March 19th so that the next generation of students can have a safe and functional place to pursue their education. 

 A school should be a place where students feel safe so they can focus on learning.

According to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, The number of people killed in school shootings per year is six times higher now than it was in the 1970s. The rate of people wounded in these incidents has also risen significantly. The current GHS entryway is non-secure and leads right into our hallways. 

“Since the Columbine school shooting, teachers have had to consider the safety of their students and their classrooms. School shootings and intruders are a real possibility no matter where we teach,” said GHS teacher Susan Bookless. “There are lots of ways that people suggest making schools safer, including arming teachers. I think that is a terrible option, and think that if we had a school with a secure entryway, I would feel safer in my classroom. I would feel like my own children were safer in their classrooms, and I would feel like I could focus more on teaching and less on if I would run, fight, or hide when someone came into the school.” 

This referendum has plans to create a more secure entrance and a building more equipped for emergencies. The Asbestos tile floors in GHS are original to the building. Heat, water, or aging can damage this type of flooring to the point where it can be broken easily. If broken or disturbed, this type of flooring can release asbestos fibers that can cause cancers. Home Ec teacher Mrs. Frederick has to put rugs over her flooring due to cracks and damages in the tile. This flooring, in the long run, can affect the health of our students and educators. 

 The facility upgrades will help make our school more functional. It has become very obvious that we have outgrown our current high school. ½ of our library has been turned into a classroom and so has the tiny office in the back portion of the library. ESL/ Spanish teacher Mrs.Schulz recently got a real classroom this year, but she also shares the room with a copy machine, making her room a revolving door so other teachers can make their copies. Our high school choir rehearses in a GEMS classroom because we have no room for them in our current building. 

“I think that teachers and students will be more excited to come to school if we have enough space and updated facilities that come with these new high school plans,” said Macy Schulz ‘24

The traffic congestion on Franklin Street outside of the school is continually getting worse. There is limited space in the upper high school parking lot and in the lower lot. Many students are having to park their cars on the road. This leads to issues with safety because of the large amount of students we have crossing the streets. These new school plans will provide more parking for students and staff and keep Franklin St less congested. 

We have one of the most prideful and supportive communities there is. As stated on the Vote Yes website published by the Vote Yes GHS committee, “Appropriately funded and high-performing schools will positively impact property values, attracting new families to the area and creating a desirable community in which to live and work”.  With improvements to our school, we can help build up the Pirate Nation and make our high school a place the community takes pride in. 

This year our high school students have accomplished so many amazing things including- the volleyball program’s first-ever state championship, Two students went to state for music, one for wrestling, one for speech, and our academic challenge team is state-bound. Not to mention the fact that we have eight Illinois state scholars within the senior class. This hardly covers half of the amazing things our high school students have done this year; all despite having minimal gym space at the beginning of the year, despite our wrestling team having to have practices in the old primary school, despite the temperature and spacial issues within our classrooms. Just imagine how much more GHS students could achieve with the additions within this referendum. 

A vote to pass the GHS renovation referendum on March 19, is a vote to help our school become more safe, functional, and for it to become something we are proud of. Updates inside and outside of the classroom are due and by voting yes you can make that happen. So please, for this community and its future, Vote yes for a new GHS. 


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