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Here’s to progress in our schools

By By Leada Gore, Editor
There was one semester in college – a long, long semester – when I was an education major.
I wanted to be a secondary education history teacher, or at least that’s what I thought.
The professor of one of my classes told us something on the first day that stuck with me throughout the semester: “This class is designed to weed out those of you who aren’t meant to be in education.”
And that’s what it did.
I made it through the semester but quickly learned I was not meant to be in the classroom. I enjoyed being around the children but didn’t enjoy the other things that went with the process, such as lesson plans, handling different learning styles, etc.
The class served its purpose. It served another one, too. It gave me a deep respect for those who do spend their days in the classroom. That’s why it’s been so much fun to work on the Progress section in this week’s newspaper.
This year, we decided to take a look at what’s going on in our schools. We visited just about every school in the county and found an array of wonderful programs, teachers, administrators and students.
And just like the people that attend them, we found each school has its own personality.
We visited small, rural schools that enjoy an amazing amount of community support. We visited larger schools that provide an array of opportunities to help students advance.
We visited elementary schools where the kids are so thrilled when they see the principal in the hall. We visited junior highs where the kids might smile at the principal but then have to walk on and try to look cool.
We visited high schools where we had the opportunity to talk to students who are on the verge of adulthood and great things.
We talked to gifted students, musical students, special needs students and athletic students.
We met teachers who have taken their own time and money to add to the educational opportunities of their students. We talked to volunteers who mentor children and help them succeed.
In all, we tried to provide a snapshot of some ofthe good things going on in our schools.
We also looked at the challenges they face – funding, overcrowding, facilities and limited resources.
We hope you enjoy this special section. It’s our version of a yearbook and something we hope you will enjoy for months to come.