Hard Work At North Central

I was up at North Central High School this morning, and was pleased to see a number of young men in the fitness center hard at work on conditioning for the upcoming football season.  I was extremely impressed with their work ethic and enthusiasm.  From my own experience in athletics, I know that success during the season is built and earned by hard work in the off-season.  I was really pleased with what I saw this morning.

Great Article!

There is a great article by Ashley Lewis on the front page of this morning’s Chronicle-Independent about our 2009 Teacher of the Year, Melody Johnson.  The article really captures her energy and passion for her work.  A must read!

Kudos…..

As we look back on the past year and the unprecedented challenges we have faced and met, I have to commend the work our principals, who have worked above and beyond the call to keep things moving forward in spite of the budget situation and all its accompanying distractions.  I hope our community understands the tremendous work our principals have done under some very trying circumstances.

Counselor Recognized

I have been remiss in recognizing the fact that Ms. Glenna Brown-Kaiser, the counselor at Blaney Elementary School, has been recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education for her work with homeless children.  Glenna is passionate about this issue, and her passion and dedication have made an enormous difference for many children.  This is a much well-deserved honor!

Athletes Recognized

I was pleased to see in the “Neighbors” section of The State newspaper this morning that high jumper Will Boykin of Camden High School and pole vaulter Jonathon Watts of Lugoff-Elgin High School had been selected for the All-Area track team.  With the completion of new track facilities at each of the three high schools, I am very excited about the future of this sport in our schools.  Great job!

The Budget….

Last night, the School Board approved a budget for 2009-10.  A release with more detail will be emailed out and posted on the website later today.  It’s been a long road.  While this budget is definitely not what I thought we would be looking at a year ago, I am both proud of and gratified by the amount of public and staff involvement and interaction there has been in the process.  As I told the Board last evening, this budget was going to have warts, no matter what.  But I believe the district has worked with great transperency in terms of addressing the tough decisions that had be be made.  My thanks to everyone for your involvement and support during this challenging journey.

Back From Vacation….

I just got back from a week of vacation in New England.  The high temperature for the week was about 70.  Amazing.  The one thing that struck me while I was away and was reading the various newspapers in the area was that everyone is dealing with the same budget struggles we are, if not more serious.   In Boston, things are bad enough that full elimination of all sports and extracurricular activities is under serious consideration.  I read about another district laying off 30% of its staff.  We’ve undoubtedly had our difficulties, but I came home counting my blessings to some degree.  I had a great week, but it’s good to be back.