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Back-to-school days

The beginning of a new school year has special meaning to our family because one of our own has joined the ranks of classroom teachers.

Meaghan Gray, our youngest granddaughter, is beginning her first year as a special education teacher and assistant volleyball and softball coach at Carroll High School in Ozark.

The daughter of Jeff and Pam Gray, she was employed following graduation from Alabama A&M University, where she achieved high academic honors and completed a four-year athletic career as a softball pitcher. Her sister, Brandi Gray, preceded her in education. She is a tenured special education teacher in the Oxford City education system.

Both are proud Hartselle High School grads, where they exercised a passion for academic excellence and acquired a desire to work with special needs kids as classroom teachers.

When I look at the history of education in Alabama, I’m reminded of the progress that has been made in expanding educational opportunities for today’s students.

Today, the student has the option of pursuing a pre-college curriculum with the idea of being well prepared for college work, or taking career technical courses with the idea of joining the work force with a good job shortly following high school graduation. For the college bound student, it is possible to earn advance college credit, while the career tech student may choose a dual college enrollment program and build up credits while still in high school.

In either case, the student is afforded quality instruction in a learning environment complete with the latest in electronic technology.

For the student’s grandparents, the amenities were few and for between. Technology was non-existent; only basic courses were offered; shared classrooms were common, and many schools had no lunchrooms or indoor toilet.

We have reason to be proud of today’s school facilities and their personnel and students Best wishes go out to them for banner achievements in 2015-2016.

Clif Knight is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.