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Truby’s Trojan Tidbits: Superintendent gives report

My waistline will take a big hit soon, and I don’t mean that it is going to decrease ‘“ unfortunately. Rather, the banquet season is underway and temptation will be at its peak! The reason for all the gatherings is to recognize and honor the efforts and accomplishments of many folks. We have already enjoyed several community award dinners, and now it is time for the schools to step up to the ‘plate,’ so to speak. Success stories It is appropriate that we do honor the success stories and those that go beyond the norm. Too often there is an emphasis on the negative and those who aspire to mediocrity – and achieve it. A little extra around the middle is a small price to pay to celebrate with students, athletes and those that lead and inspire them. If you have the chance to congratulate these fine folks, I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity. Thank you! Monday Morning Memo Along this same line, each week it is my pleasure to write what I call a Monday Morning Memo for our employees. (You can read it on line.) In it I often get to share district-wide successes. Great students, special talents, super accomplishments – every week, it seems, there are terrific reminders of the caliber of students and adults we have in our school system. We are blessed and getting better. Note of thanks In recent weeks I have been especially privileged to receive recognition from a couple of organizations. I extend this public note of thanks to my friends, brother, and sisters from Sardis Missionary Baptist Church and the local chapter of the NAACP. It is a pleasure serving with you all. 2009-10 calendar approved On the School Board front, there are a few items that are noteworthy. The BOE approved next year’s calendar at the March meeting. It is a very family-friendly calendar in that it allows for our traditional breaks while still meeting state mandated attendance laws. One very unique aspect of next year’s calendar is the inclusion of four half days, all of which occur just before some breaks. This will allow us to have more professional development while giving our students a head start on their free time. Snow day I trust the ‘snow day’ went well for you and yours. A change of pace can often be a friend. The good news for students is this: they will not have to make up that day. Dept. of Education I am very pleased to report that once again the Department of Education has found that our Special Education program ‘Meets Requirements’ for IDEA. There is an awful lot that goes into our special ed program here in Lamar County in terms of people, money and other resources. The results are many success stories and letters of congratulations from the DOE. No raising of millage The recent financial numbers from the state do not bode well for anyone looking for ‘things as they used to be.’ Thus, we continue to work on our budget items in order to keep the ship not only afloat, but moving forward. The School Board is committed to no raising of millage for the coming year; rather, we will use a variety of methods to offset expenses and tap into our fund balance. Our goal is to try to keep personnel at ‘status quo’ as much as possible – a challenge being made more difficult as we see the numbers rolling in from the state. (Did you see that February’s state revenue for ’09 was 34% less than ’08?) I look forward to sharing our plans with you in a variety of upcoming meetings. Dist. Accreditation Award We have received an official invitation from Advanced-Ed, the parent organization of SACS, to receive our District Accreditation Award in person at its national meeting. Our achievement is quite extraordinary and is being received well by those in higher offices. Field of Dreams I recently submitted an essay for a monetary award for our district. The required title was ‘Field of Dreams.’ It was sponsored by the manufacturers of artificial turf. The focus was supposed to be about how teams improved their play and became more successful because of the field. My angle was a bit different: I think all of Lamar County is already a winner without even playing a game at our new stadium. This sense of community pride and unity is hard to find anywhere else. The upcoming championships are just frosting on the cake. No pressure, Coach Strickland. Open house The BOE will be sponsoring an open house at its new facility at 100 Victory Lane on March 26 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. You will be amazed at the renovations that have taken place in our old maintenance facility. Thank you, citizens of Lamar County, for giving us a permanent home in which to work. Committee meeting An Education Committee meeting is set for Wednesday, March 25, 6-8 p.m. at the Civic Center. There are so many good things happening at these events that I wish hundreds of people would make it to them. We certainly thank our EC members for their commitment to our children. Spring sports Spring sports offer a unique challenge. They usually begin amid rain and even snow and end in 90+ heat and humidity. All of our teams are doing very well right now. Come on out and support them – and be encouraged and entertained. Part 1 of 2. To be continued next week. Editor’s Note: the preceding article was written by superintendent Dr. Bill Truby

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