The present school schedule is still confusing to me. During my school days, school started the Tuesday after Labor Day and lasted until the end of May.
During that period, we received two weeks off at Christmas.
Everybody looked forward to being off for three months in the summer. It worked well then but I can only assume the new schedule has some logic behind it.
There has been a lot in the news lately about public schools and charter schools.
There have been heated comments posted on the internet by supporters from both camps. Let me go ahead and say right now that I will not be saying anything one way or the other about that particular argument.
I know nothing about charter schools so it would be totally unfair of me to make any comment about them. What I do know about is the public school system in Cherokee County that I grew up in.
We didn’t have middle schools here when I grew up. Elementary school went from the first to the eighth grade.
I have many great memories from North Canton Elementary. But it is the teachers I want to mention. In first grade it was Miss Holcombe.
In the second grade, I had Ms. Davis. She was a lover of music and taught us all to appreciate it hopefully more than we did.
Third grade, if my memory serves me right, I had Ms. Chapman. She is married to Curtis Chapman, who taught for many years at Reinhardt.
In fourth grade I had Ms. Shepherd. Ms. Shepherd has been active in Cherokee County for years. She was a teacher that showed her love for her students openly.
Fifth grade it was Ms. Blackwell. Ms. Blackwell was a wonderful teacher who knew how to keep order in the classroom.
Sixth grade I had Ms. Nash. Ms. Nash was a quiet lady and I remember taking tons of notes in her class.
In the seventh grade, we had several teachers for some reason. I hope I wasn’t a contributor. The eighth grade was led by Homer Key. Mr. Key went on to teach at Cherokee High School and was one of the very best educators I have ever known.
Cherokee High School was filled with wonderful teachers. Some had been there for many years that many of you reading this will know.
Ms. Mauldin and Ms. Parris are two past teachers who immediately come to mind. They were as much a part of Cherokee High School as the totem pole in front of the school.
I had the privilege of talking with Dr. Ed Casey a few days ago about some of these wonderful teachers who shaped the lives of the students.
I said all of that to say this. The Cherokee County School System has had in the past some wonderful educators who helped shape the lives of many just like me.
They not only cared about what we learned from the text books, but they also cared about what we learned as far as moral and ethical dilemmas.
They treated students no doubt as they would have their own children. But more importantly than anything, it was their love that got our attention and made us crave to learn.
And they had enough of an impression on me that I still remember little things about each of them.
So today we have a new school calendar. Today we have charter schools. We also have private schools.
But I really don’t have a dog in that fight. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and I respect that right.
But I personally know several public school teachers in our system today. I play golf with several.
When they talk about their students they light up. They are proud of their students’ accomplishments. This tells me that Cherokee County is still doing something right in the hiring of teachers.
I feel sure that charter schools and private schools have equally good educators.
But I don’t believe I could have received a better education anywhere than I did in the Cherokee County public school system.
I hope one day the economy will recover and these teachers can be compensated for their worth as opposed to what we can afford. My hat is off to each of you!
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.