Thursday, September 23, 2010
Keep up good work
Last week’s and this week’s newspapers have included the levels of area public schools based on the most recent state test scores.
Congratulations go to the Holly Springs, Marshall County and Benton County school districts for their overall improvements.
Often our local schools have taken the heat when discussions come up about quality of life, economic and business development, and such like.
Now it’s time for those same folks to boast about the accomplishments of our schools academically. Based on recent results from the Mississippi Department of Education, they’re on the right path.
But the leaders of our schools also know their mission is not accomplished.
The goal is continued growth – to High Performing and Star schools, the top levels on the ladder. But most of our schools are taking positive steps forward and we should all give them applause and praise.
To keep progressing and reach the goals, it will take all of us supporting our schools. This has to be a community effort.
Seven of the 14 schools in the Holly Springs, Marshall County and Benton County systems are now rated Successful. Others made big steps forward.
Most of all, the teachers are the ones who deserve the biggest pats on the back. Teaching is tough. It takes a special, dedicated person – one who loves children.
The teachers are the leaders in the classrooms, helping build knowledge and character in our children on a five-day-a-week basis during the school year. Teachers play such an important role in the lives of our children.
Schools were not rated when I attended Hamilton Elementary School, Hamilton Middle School and Hamilton High School in Alabama. We did not have to take all those state tests. That was in the late 1960s and 1970s – a long, long time ago.
But I think I came out somewhat OK.
That’s because I believe I was blessed to be a part of a public school system with fabulous administrators and teachers and outstanding community support. The community rallied around the schools.
For me, the teachers and the coaches definitely made the difference – particularly the tough ones. I often got tired of the homework, the essays, the difficult exams and such, but after getting to college and then into the “real world,” I learned to appreciate them more and more.
I even have an appreciation for some of those coaches who yelled at me when I made mistakes on the basketball court or the baseball diamond.
Just sitting here typing this column, I’m having trouble remembering the names of all my teachers through the elementary to high school years. But you can bet, I remember the hard ones, the ones who challenged me and encouraged me.
Plus, a big chunk of the credit goes to my mother. After all, an education starts at home and has to be an important part of the family atmosphere. She always kept up with my school work and grades – urging me to always do my best.
Again, congratulations to our schools. Keep up the good work.
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