My favorite time of the year is upon us. In just a couple of weeks, the mornings in Butts County are going to change. They will feel different, and I think most people know what I am talking about. There is a point each year (usually right after school gets back in session) when we wake up and step outside our door, and the mornings are crisp and cool. The light has changed somehow, and nature is responding to it. Like clockwork, the Good Lord is telling us that fall is coming to the South.
Of course, we may have a hard time imagining this because it has been so doggone hot! And while we still have a few weeks left of the heat, we know that autumn is walking toward us, and it will be an amazing feeling to see her face peeking at us through the trees of our beautiful county.
Life is like this sometimes. Often times, we are so absorbed in the present moment that we forget that good things are coming, that the harvest is ripe, and that hard work in the past pays off in the future. It’s almost like a law of the universe, and I believe nature teaches us that those cycles and principles it uses each year will work in our school system and in our community. If we have faith and commitment with the process, the fruit will come.
We just have to make a choice to see it with our hearts and minds before our eyes get the opportunity. Maybe that’s what leadership vision is all about.
Speaking for our Board of Education and faculty and staff, we are very excited about the harvest we are planting and what a new fall season means for us. As you read this article, the first day of school has set the community abuzz, and our team has begun another year in our mission to build a better framework for the future of our 3,450 boys and girls.
We ended the year last time with many victories…and also many wake-up calls that need our attention and focus in the year to come. The graduating Class of 2015 was the largest graduating class in the history of Jackson High School. This fall, we expect to announce the highest graduation rate in our history as well. In a nutshell, that’s what it’s all about, neighbors!
Even though we are extremely proud of this, we have much work to do. We have to improve our student’s mastery of math concepts and literacy in our county. We have to continue to find ways to get our students more involved and engaged in the system. And we have to continue our progress in communicating and engaging our parents.
To that end, we began planting seeds and building scaffolds in the spring and over the summer. We took an aggressive step in becoming more knowledgeable of the learning goals our students need to master, and our teachers really invested a great deal of time in spring and early summer looking at these targets and developing an instructional plan to help our students reach their potential. When it comes down to it, the more knowledgeable and better trained our wonderful teachers are, the better we can serve our students.
And speaking for them, I can tell you that our faculty and staff want to make our families and communities in Butts County proud. They have worked so hard, and they have come so far. It is my hope that you will pat them on the back and encourage them when you see them out and about in our community. It just makes them want to work harder.
All of us want to achieve something ourselves that we preach to our students each day: give our best and get a little better each day. We don’t want our students standing still, and we preach to them that hard work and focus on self-improvement pays off. Thus, we have to commit to those same ideals, and in order to do that, we must take a continual mind frame of self-analysis to focus on areas we can be more successful for our children.
As I close, we are proud to serve your children in the 2015-2016 school year. We intend on nothing less than a year of taking “three steps forward.” And we hope you will walk and grow with us for the benefit of some very talented and deserving children in Flovilla, Jackson, and Jenkinsburg!