Community effort always needed to further education

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Education is, and always will be, a hot-button issue in communities like LaGrange and Troup County. We all want the best for our next generation, and want to ensure those in positions of power take the necessary and correct steps to set our children up for success in the professional world. This desire is well-intentioned, if sometimes expressed in improper ways.

Currently, the Troup County Board of Education is in the waning stages of a superintendent search that has been taking place, to some degree, since Cole Pugh tendered his resignation on Aug. 13 of last year. The board named three finalists for the position on Monday evening, and could name its final choice as early as Feb. 18.

Whoever fills this position will undoubtedly play a huge role in the future of public education in Troup County. However, while school administrators are undoubtedly — and correctly tasked with shouldering the load of educational planning, private citizens still have a role to play as well that should not be forgotten or ignored.

LaGrange and Troup County are blessed with a host of nonprofit organizations that either directly or indirectly focus on partnering with the school system to lend assistance in different areas. Circles of Troup County, the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning and Communities in Schools are just a few of these organizations that seek to help students achieve their best.

Each have individuals who have answered the call on their lives to work to ensure our youth have a bright future, and that is an admirable thing.

On Monday, the Hogansville City Council listened to a presentation from Jimmy McCamey, a licensed clinical social worker in the area, who proposed the idea of turning what used to be West End School of Hogansville into a group home for foster children, with a primary focus on helping those children make educational strides.

Whether or not the idea is a good one, or even a plausible one, remains to be seen. What is important in this moment is to simply see and appreciate private citizens not only talking about changes that need to be made in our education, but taking action to see those changes through.

Conversations related to how best to improve test scores, career readiness, etc. in our students have been taking place for many years and will continue far into the future.

For the most part, this dialogue is a good thing, showing we have invested members in our community who care about what happens to our youth. However, conversation alone, and a laissez-faire attitude from some citizens that places all responsibility on administrators to correct each unique challenge will not get us far. We need community involvement to continue to move forward.

To those nonprofits and community members who work daily to ensure the educational needs of Troup County’s students are met, we thank you.