School year brings buzz, changes

Published 7:20pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The start of the 2014-2015 school year is only a few, short weeks away for elementary middle and high school students and with it comes an inevitable buzz.

Elementary schoolers and first time students are likely more excited than their older counterparts for the start of the school year. Though, perhaps there’s some excitement to show off a first day outfit.

Once homework begins, at least in my case, waking up for school becomes a lot less enticing.

Regardless, of the buzz, many students will notice a significant difference in some of the administrators around the campus. One school is still searching for its top administrator, while many others have already installed new leaders.

Superintendents will also look slightly different in the 2014-2015 school year. Don Willingham began the 2013-2014 school year as Dallas County School System’s interim superintendent and is now the full-time leader.

Former Selma City Superintendent Gerald Shirley was removed from his position several weeks ago and, by 2015, the system plans to hire his replacement.

With so many changes, all Dallas County school systems should focus on what’s best for the children and ensure the quality of instruction is top-notch.

Teachers and administrators should make an effort to get to know their students. Though, a good student-teacher relationship also requires a student effort. In my educational career — high school and college — I undoubtedly performed at a higher level in classes that were entertaining or included a teacher who could explain solutions in an easy-to-understand manner.

The classroom may only be part of the equation for a successful school year.

Just after the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Selma police predicted an increase in petty crime that was connected to school ending. With nothing to do, Chief of Police William Riley said school age children might take advantage of an unlocked car door.

In the summer, empty schedules leave time for crime.

In both college and high school, involvement in extra-curricular activities or a job helps students stay out of trouble. Whether, it’s football, Key Club or working at a local restaurant, a full schedule leaves little time for criminal activity.

In both college and high school, from my experience, students with jobs and involvement in extra-curricular organizations, were more successful in getting to colleges of their choice.

One of the best ways to improve the Selma-Dallas County area is to invest in our young people. By ensuring every student has a positive educational experience, there’s a chance that the area’s future could be a little brighter.

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