As you read this letter, we are just now putting the finishing touches on a brand-new Butts County School System. Each August, we begin anew as we welcome our students and parents back to a new school year.
Our hard-working custodians are buffing those newly-waxed floors. Our bus shop mechanics are checking the air pressure on the bus tires (as they prepare to go ‘round and round’). Our school nutrition staff members are scrubbing our kitchens and ordering food supplies. Our media specialists are stocking shelves with new book titles for our kids to read.
And of course, our teachers are going over their class rolls once and then twice, arranging their classrooms and bulletin boards, and mapping out the learning journey ahead for all 3400 of our students in Flovilla, Jackson, and Jenkinsburg, GA.
That’s the thing about school. Each school year is a new birth not just for the school system, but for every community in Georgia. It’s a rebirth for all of us!
Each year, we get an opportunity to reflect with our families during the summer, learn from our mistakes, and build on our successes from the previous year. When you think about it, this is how any learning takes place. If we look back and use the knowledge we have gained, wisdom follows, and we all gain from it.
And I am not just talking to students, staff, parents, and grandparents.
No, I believe that whether you are 7 years old or 70, whether you have family in our schools or not, our “village” here in Butts County revolves around our neighbors’ children. If our children are successful and healthy and ready for the future, most likely our community will be. And if that maxim is true, how does that change our focus as taxpayers, volunteers, voters, and role-models?
School buses should be a constant reminder to each of us that we have to ride together in our quest to leave a positive and lasting legacy for our children.
Drumbeats on Friday night at Red Devil Hill should pound our ears as an urgent call for community leadership and vision and collaboration for our children.
The toothless smile of a kindergarten student carrying a book-bag as big as she is should teach us that we all have to carry the load not just for ourselves, but for our children.
In fact, just to take this reminder a little further, I would propose that we adults can learn a lot from our students in a public school system.
If you turn on the news these days, you will see examples of constant arguing, selfishness, violence, separation, cliques and claques, and finger-pointing…from adults.
But if you visit our football, softball, and band practice fields this week, you will see much younger humans from different races, religions, and economic backgrounds working together toward one goal in the hot sun. They don’t care what their teammates look like or believe. They just want to be part of a great team!
Yes, we can learn a lot from our students.
And thus, we have the opportunity to be reborn, to begin anew, to learn…as a community. What a great opportunity we have this year!
Speaking for your Board of Education, our 500 employees, and our 3400 students, we are proud to be a part of this village we call Butts County. And we are proud to begin a fresh, new school year in our community on August 10. In the coming months, we hope to be honored with your support, your faith, and your prayers. In return, we are going to work to make you very proud as we all learn and grow together.