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By Mike Ruffin Well, the kids have started a new school year. In my home county of Lamar, the high schoolers are in a brand new facility. When the Lamar County schools officially consolidated and desegregated in 1970, boys’”I think it was the seventh through twelfth grade boys, but it may have been fifth through twelfth’” were assigned to the former Booker T. Washington School, which was given the cartographically accurate but historically meaningless name of Forsyth Road School. I was in the seventh grade. When my class transitioned into high school two years later, we stayed right where we were. I’m not sure I even realized I was in high school. I just knew I was still at Forsyth Road School. The high school facility that I will always refer to as the new high school’”that’s the one that the newer high school just replaced (I wonder if I’ll live long enough to see the newest high school?)’”opened for business in 1975. 1975-76 was my senior year. As my class transitioned, along with the rest of the high school students, to the new school’”which, thankfully, was named Lamar County Comprehensive High School rather than Zebulon Road School (if they’d built it farther out, they could have named it Tater Creek School, which would have been classy)’”I didn’t transition with them. Instead, I transitioned on down Highway 41 to Macon, where I entered Mercer University to begin preparing for my career as a minister, which in the subsequent forty-four years has transitioned into a career as a writer/editor/preacher/teacher/commentator, for better or worse (and everything in between). It’s been a good life and a rewarding career so far. I’m grateful for all of the Lamar County educators who made a difference in my life. I’m grateful for those who are making a difference in the lives of the current generation of students. Let’s pray for the students and educators as they make the transition into the new school year. Each student’s transition experience is unique, because each child is unique. Each child brings her or his background to school. Each child brings his or her potential and possibilities. Each child might grow up to make a huge difference in the community, in the nation, and in the world. We never know where these students will go and what they’ll do. Here’s hoping that they’ll make the world a better place by helping humanity make the transitions we’ll need to make to survive and even’”I believe it’s possible’”to thrive. Here’s believing that this school year will mark a significant transition in their growth toward making the contributions that they’re going to make. For some of them, this could be the year that makes all the difference in the lives of some students and, eventually, in the life of the world.

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