The allusion to the NCAA tournament gets the adrenaline flowing to be sure. Without question, it’s a very exciting time of year. Having been a basketball player and coach for most my life, I can honestly say the ‘win or go home’ mentality sure adds to the drama of the season. With the start of baseball, golf and other sports, March has become one of the great months to look forward to.Worse than bad news is bad news at the last minuteThere is other madness going on much closer to home and it’s real world. Just up the road in Atlanta there’s an awful lot happening that affects the lives and livelihoods of students and school employees. Education has always been a reactionary entity. That is to say, we’re forced to respond to others’ decisions ‘“ good, bad or indifferent. The challenge with which we are often confronted, and this year is no different, is the timing of those decisions. People’s income and jobs are held in limbo until a budget is made. As I’ve told many a politician, ‘Whatever you must do, do it quickly.’ Worse than bad news is bad news at the last minute. Already we’ve delayed contracts and related items because we don’t know what we’ll have to work with. While we all must prepare for the continued fallout from the economic situation, I’m sure you agree while haste makes waste, speed meets a need is also worth consideration.Making world class schoolsAs you well know, we’ve begun many new things since my arrival here as superintendent exactly three years ago. Our focus has been geared toward making Lamar County schools a wonderful place to attend as a student and employee ‘“ even world class. In keeping with the axiom of sowing and reaping, some things bloom quickly while others take a little more time. Recently, our JROTC drill team tied for first in its competition in our region. I was privileged to attend our military ball last Saturday. We’re reaping super results already. I believe such results will also be visible in other areas if we do not weary from well doing. Congratulations, cadets and sponsors Stinson and Kelly.Pats on the back go to our honor band and chorus members at the high and middle schools. Our winter athletes also made honors in their respective areas ‘“ good things for great kids.Our partnership with Gordon College is quite amazing as we welcome four-year students in education and nursing onto our campuses each day. We’re a help to them and they certainly lend a hand to us. We may see as many as 25-30 students on any given day.We certainly appreciate Mayor Peter Banks and commission chair Jay Matthews helping us recognize and promote Career, Technical and Agricultural Education. That department, in turn, thank the board for its support by providing gift bags at the February meeting.On the school board front, a few items are noteworthy. We’ll hold our annual spring retreat March 6-7 in the new Trojan War Room. This is when we hear reports from our principals and directors. Obviously, the budget will be a major focus of our time together this year. The board tabled new policies and job descriptions related to our technology department. Work in this area is ever-changing; we must try to stay a bit ahead of the technological curve. Voting will take place next month after review and input. The board listened and lent its support to a new high school schedule that would offer more opportunities for students to take classes they like or need. This should help CTAE, support, advanced and co-curricular classes especially.District AccreditationWe’ve received an official invitation from Advanced-Ed, the parent organization of SACS, to receive our District Accreditation Award in person at the national meeting. Our achievement is quite extraordinary and is being received well by those in higher offices.A quick review of our projects is in order. The stadium is almost complete. The turf is down and looking better than hoped for. The video scoreboard is up and running. It’ll add to the enjoyment and excitement of all of our activities at the stadium. If you’d like to advertise on the scoreboard with a permanent sign or video presentation, please contact us. The high school cafeteria is completely redone and looking great. Our gym is partially re-done. The major portions of that renovation will take place as we approach summer. The board offices are complete. We’re anticipating having an open house March 26 to greet the public in this renovated facility. I think you’ll appreciate the looks and conservative yet stylish approach to a permanent home for the school board and administrative offices. The auditorium is picking up steam. We’ve been told move-in day is around Labor Day. We shall see. However, we’ve already picked out interior designs and colors. It’ll be awesome. Look out, Fox Theater.