Passing ballot question 4A will be Pueblo’s statement that we will continue to work for a promising future for each generation of children who grow up here and attend Pueblo School District 60 schools.

The accomplishments of our students make us proud and ensure Pueblo remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a wedding where my daughter was a bridesmaid for her dear friend. Also among the bridesmaids were two other young women who have been friends, teammates, confidants and co-conspirators with my daughter since their days playing 10-and-under soccer at Langoni Field. Another parent of one of these remarkable young women and I marveled at their accomplishments since graduation from East and Centennial high schools, only five and six years ago.

Collectively, they have undergraduate degrees from Colorado State University-Fort Collins, University of Denver, Colorado School of Mines and University of Tulsa. They have studied abroad in Japan, Denmark, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. One is a biologist who has contributed to wildlife research in Africa and the Canadian Yukon, one is an engineer whose career has taken her from London to Connecticut to Nevada, one is an entrepreneur supporting the digital marketing of businesses and educational organizations across Colorado, and one is in graduate school for physical therapy and coaching high school runners.

They are 23 and 24 years old and have only begun to show the world what they can do!

As we congratulated ourselves for raising such accomplished children, my fellow parent and I reminded each other that we had help from the East and Centennial high school communities in preparing our children for the world. We parents are teachers, health care workers and employees of private businesses. We are one- or two-income, single- or two- parent, one- or four-sibling families for whom D60 and the East and Centennial communities provided the academic and social education that propelled our children toward their successes.

As families, we are representative of the diversity of Pueblo, and we chose East and Centennial high schools for our children because we hoped they would thrive there. We were not disappointed.

We need to support the passage of the bond to modernize the neighborhood schools in the city of Pueblo and replace, on their current sites, East and Centennial high schools because all of Pueblo’s children deserve the educational options my daughter and her peers have benefited from. The International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs gave these four women a head start in their university educations. The career and technical programs, athletics and service organizations they were a part of during high school helped them become the assertive, confident women they are.

Passing the bond will maintain these options for all D60 students, including those who attend Central and South high schools. It is essential ballot question 4A be passed by the voters of Pueblo to ensure all young people who graduate from D60 high schools will impress the world the way these women have.

It will ensure we send our children into the world as ambassadors, walking and working proof of our commitment to fully supporting the education of Pueblo’s children. Our hope is after they discover they are well prepared for the world outside of Pueblo, our children decide they can have a great quality of life and make an impact on the world from right here in Pueblo, and then send their own children to the schools which provided them with excellent academic and social experiences!

Mel Otero, Jr. is a retired Pueblo County School District 70 teacher and career and technical education administrator.