Letter to the Editor from Clarence Resident and Mom, Nicole Roth

June 23, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. I am heartbroken. I am worried. I am stressed. I can't sleep at night. I can't enjoy summer vacation with my children for worrying about redistricting.

I am Nicole Farrell Roth. I am married to Andy Roth, a South Shelby Middle School teacher, as well as a South Shelby High School graduate. Let me tell you a little of my story. I am a proud 2003 graduate of South Shelby High. I was born and raised a Shelbina girl. I have just as many friends from Clarence as I do Shelbina.

When Andy and I married, we lived in Moberly for a few years as I began my career as a dental hygienist and Andy, a teacher at Moberly. When our first child, Miles was approaching kindergarten, Andy and I made a life changing decision and bought our home outside of Clarence. We came home. We came to Shelby County. We were welcomed by community people who said they were so happy that a young couple with children had chosen to move to Clarence. We wanted Miles to receive the same high-quality education as Andy and I did. But more than anything, we wanted him to graduate as a South Shelby Cardinal. Then a cloud of darkness overtook our world. It all began when a small group of people, who have no children attending our school, with the exception of one, decided that our boundaries should change to put us in Macon school district! This happened due to the majority of our communities voting Yes to consolidating our two elementary schools into one school at South Shelby. Some of the same people who welcomed us here, are now trying to drive us away.

My husband, a non-tenured teacher at South Shelby could very easily lose his job as of August. Will Macon offer him a teaching position along with all the other non-tenured teachers? Or will my family and the others have to endure additional pain and suffering?

It is true, that 84% of the Clarence people voted against Prop Kids. However, the proposition passed. Since then, a very large percentage of the vote No people have joined Cardinal Kids United to fight against this redistricting nightmare. However, “Excellence through Opportunity” group (redistricting) believe that since 84% of Clarence voted NO against consolidation, that 84% want to redistrict. This is far, far from the truth. Even though Prop Kids divided our communities, the good thing about it is that it has united us now more than ever for this common cause.

I am telling you, that in my years of middle school and high school, I never once witnessed any animosity against Clarence and Shelbina. I am floored to even think that Shelbina would be considered superior to Clarence. BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED. And the interesting fact is, my dad’s generation (graduates of South Shelby) has never heard of it. So, it seems as the ones who are accusing Shelbina for bullying Clarence, are the very ones doing the bullying. The past is the past. What matters is TODAY. The past cannot be changed. It's history. Let's look at new beginnings. Our future.

South Shelby provides a quality education. We have our homes here. This is the school and community I love. Cardinals want to stay Cardinals. Let the Tigers be Tigers. Please please, please, vote NO. We do not want to have to sell our homes and move east. We love Clarence, Shelbina, and South Shelby. The one good aspect that has come of this is Shelbina and Clarence now are completely one. The YES and NO voters for consolidation have joined for one common cause. And Clarence could not win this battle without our family from the east. After all that happened with Prop Kids, all differences between the Yes and the No voters are becoming forgotten as we join hands for this worthy cause. Togetherness. "Because at the end of the day, we can either focus on what is tearing us apart or focus on what is holding us together." One school. One family. Cardinal Pride.


Nicole Roth,

Clarence Resident & Mom

(Picture taken by Nicole Roth of her two kids)