Letters to the Editor 11-13-14

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Donation appreciated

To the Editor:

Last week Jeff-Craig Elementary received a very large donation of school supplies for our children from an anonymous donor. These supplies were greatly needed at Jeff-Craig. It was a wonderful feeling to fill our supply closet with items that the children use and need every day of the school year.

The entire staff of our school would like to send a heartfelt thanks to our anonymous donor. Your generosity and caring was appreciated by all at our school.

Thank you from the staff and all our students.

Jenny Abbott

(on behalf of everyone)

Wake up, America

Dear Editor:

I love America. Well, I should say, the America I used to know.

When I came to this country nearly 56 years ago, I was so impressed with he freedom, morality and love for God. But sadly all that has changed. Christianity is in decline, Christians are not respected, yes, often persecuted for their faith, although this country was founded on Christian principles.

Everything today has to be “politically correct” and our freedom is taken away, little by little, bit by bit. TV and movies have influenced our morality, anything goes. TV stars, the sports world and the musical world have become the gods of today.

God has blessed this country so much, have we forgotten? The world used to respect us, but they pay little attention to us today.

Judgment will come my dear fellow Americans, unless we repent and get our act together. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God has not changed, neither has His word. It is us, that have done the changing.

There is a verse in the old testament that speaks to us:

If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and then turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their lands.

2 Chronicles 7:12

America wake up. Let us get back our freedom, morality and love for God. We must not be afraid to speak out against the evil that surrounds us, but stand strong on our principles even if they are not popular.

May God bless you and may God continue to bless America.

Respectfully,

Johanna Welch

Fairview

School board

To the Editor:

These are very challenging times for public education in America as well as here in Switzerland County, and strong governance, leadership, accountability, and transparency are needed more than ever before. The anthropologist, Margaret Mead, wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Here in Switzerland County, a school board with vision, knowledge, commitment and enough “guts” can make significant differences in the lives of our Switzerland County children.

By definition, a school board is a group of citizens who are concerned with the proper functioning of a school system, and school board members are policy and decision makers who adopt a shared vision based on community beliefs. School boards give the district direction in setting priorities, as they work to achieve goals within the scope of their legal authority. School boards do no manage people or schools; they see to it that their school system is managed efficiently and effectively by the administrative professionals they employ.

Specifically, school board members work collaboratively as a team to engage in long-range planning, adopt data-driven curricular and academic policies, oversee construction projects, approve contracts with outside vendors, and serve as good fiscal stewards as they adopt and systematically monitor the annual budget. They must also balance the sometimes tedious school board meeting business of running a school district with a continued focus on the “big picture” of academic achievement and student success for all children.

School boards must be accessible to their constituents and communicate their actions with their communities through discourse and public reporting so that those they serve can be well informed as to the school district’s mission, challenges, and progress toward established goals. School board members not only advocate for the public schools they serve at the local, state, and national levels, they also promote educational resources and opportunities for families through strong school-community partnerships. The accountability role of a school board dictates that district-wide progress and student achievement be consistently, thoroughly, and fairly evaluated and monitored.

The schools in our county exist solely for our children, parents and patrons. The public owns the schools, and the members of the Switzerland County School Board must not only understand their accountability, transparency, accessibility, and advocacy roles, they must also realize that there is no time for “business as usual” or “school politics” practiced under the guise of local control of education. Our Switzerland County community cannot settle for anything less than accessible, knowledgeable, focused, and visionary school board members who commit themselves to school board service for all the “right” reasons and as a meaningful way to contribute to our Switzerland County community.

Jill Cord

Montgomery Road