My grandparents were good examples of what I am talking about. They worked at Canton Textile Mills until their retirement. They lived in the cotton mill village. They shopped at Jones Mercantile. And they did well because they worked hard.
It would stand to reason that the fault for the lack of mutual loyalty lies with the employer and the employee. From my experience, we have raised a generation that would prefer to start at the top rather than work their way up the ladder. Say what you will, it’s the truth.
Laws and public scrutiny have made it difficult for law enforcement officers to do their job without every decision being questioned. From talking with teachers, they spend more time doing paperwork and prepping students for standardized testing; they have little time to actual teach.
There is a lady who has worked for the Cherokee County School System for the past 34 years. Her name is Dr. Susan Buice. Thirty-four years with one company is virtually unheard of in this day and time. This is a prime example of loyalty to your employer. Or is it?
Imagine the changes that she has seen in all of her years of teaching. She no doubt successfully adapted to all of the changes. She didn’t quit when the changes came. She kept right on doing what she does best. She kept educating the children of Cherokee County because that is without a question her calling in life.
I have had the privilege of talking with Dr. Buice on several occasions. Sure, she has loyalty to the Cherokee County Board of Education. But her true loyalty is to the thousands of young lives she touched through her love and patience.
This is a story that needs telling. There is a chance you might see something about it in the news but there is a better than equal chance you won’t.
It isn’t like the school system hasn’t been in the news lately because it has. It has actually had more than its share of coverage. Unfortunately, most of it has been negative. I guess that is what people want to hear. But I for one have about had my fill of it.
School superintendents and school board members are important in governing the system. But they aren’t the heroes. It’s the teachers in the classroom that are the real heroes. It’s the teachers like Dr. Buice that make the difference in our children’s lives.
For 34 years, she has seen superintendents and school board members come and go. Yet, she has survived them all. In reality, she and the other great teachers in Cherokee County teach without a political agenda. They teach because they love kids.
However, most teachers. with the exception of a few. just do their jobs without any public recognition. They could probably get more coverage if they would argue with one another while causing great turmoil in the schools. But they just go about their day thinking about their students as opposed to tearing each other down.
It must be demoralizing for teachers to read about the politics that governs them. And if you think they are getting rich doing their jobs, you might be mistaken. But amidst all of the ugliness, they keep teaching.
Thank goodness for Dr. Buice and others that truly set a positive example for our children. Thank goodness for all of the teachers that are in the trenches every day trying to better our children knowing that their reward is seeing the growth of their students.
It is high time teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and all other professions that make a difference in the lives of others are recognized for the efforts. Sadly, I know it isn’t near as interesting as the infighting of politics. Therefore, you may not hear as much about the good things going on in our schools. But there are many good teachers and thousands of wonderful students in our county.
I want to thank Dr. Buice for 34 wonderful years of sharing her knowledge and caring about our children. She has earned my respect and hopefully yours. She deserves to be recognized.
It is my wish that her accomplishment will outshine all of the negativity that seems to consume us.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.