Many new beginnings ahead

Published 10:02pm Thursday, August 8, 2013

One of my biggest pet peeves as a child was seeing all those back-to-school commercials flood the television when I clearly still had a week or two left of summer freedom. I’d always feel a pang of sadness when I saw an advertisement for book bags or new fall clothes — I knew the first day of school was just around the corner, so I found it completely unnecessary to be reminded of my looming doom. I knew my days of relaxing by the neighborhood pool and catching fire flies at dusk were soon coming to a close.

And although I always dreaded that first day back, all those worries and doubt seemed to melt away when I stepped into the classroom and was reunited with friends I hadn’t seen for a long three months. With crisp new binders and my cool new clothes, which had Limited Too or The Gap branded all over, I recognized the great possibilities that were ahead in the promise of a new school year.

As Selma and Dallas County embarks on the 2013-2014 school year, I encourage local leaders and educators to make this year one of its best. Last year saw a host of improvement as several local county schools were named Torchbearers — a prestigious title signifying strong leadership and strides towards a better educational experience.

And while some schools were recognized for their great achievements, others had a light shined on their flaws and fell under the “failing schools” category by the Alabama Department of Education.

I encourage these schools, and all schools in Selma and Dallas County, to rise above those barriers and become top-notch educational facilities. We already have a set of strong educational leaders on our side, it’s just up to us to recognize our shortcomings and improve in areas that need help.

Also, it’s no new news that the Selma City School System has had its share of problems recently. With a top-to-bottom investigation by the state, it is my hope that school leaders begin this next year on a different foot. We can’t deny our less-than-perfect past, but we can definitely make our future bright and provide students with what they deserve — a quality education.

So although those magical summer days are soon coming to a close, I think we can all agree there is much to look forward to in this upcoming school year. Besides the beginning of pumpkin carving, hot cider and fall sports — we have a season of new beginnings in front of us.

Personally, I’m looking forward to breaking out the scarves and comfy sweaters and maybe seeing my Tigers win a game or two at Jordan Hare Stadium.

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