Letters to the Editor, Jan. 13, 2016

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Recognizing the work of the school boards

Changes are coming in K-12 education at the national level with passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, with the potential for more change at the state level at a time when the Commonwealth’s new budget will be squeezed.
When changes from both directions filter down to the local level, they land squarely on local school boards, including our own Henry County and Eminence Independent Boards of Education. These school board members must carry out those changes through policy and budgeting, perhaps with a dose of innovation. They also must be prepared to communicate those changes in the check-out line at the local supermarket, at a PTA meeting or in the parking lot after church.
School Board Recognition Month in January is a good time to recognize that the job of Henry County school board members Miranda Clubb, Tony Whaley, Donnie Tipton, Danney Chisholm and Harold Bratton and Eminence independent school board members Brenda Chism, Ben Coomes, Anthony Adams, Daniel Fisher and Pamela Morehead-Johnson is far from static.
Their work is buffeted by change at all levels that must be balanced against their No. 1 priority: improving the academic achievement and the opportunities for the students of their district, while also helping meet the needs of children with barriers to that improvement.
To keep up with this ever-changing K-12 education climate, these school board members must spend hours in professional development and preparation of all kinds, from formal training to earn state-required credit hours to reviewing documents and reports prior to a school board meeting to studying education trends through news media reports.
Please take the opportunity this month to join me in thanking the school board members of Henry County and Eminence Independent and let them know that while events around them change, you appreciate their unwavering stand for the children of this community.

Tim Abrams, superintendent
Henry County Public Schools
Buddy Berry, superintendent
Eminence Independent Schools

Thanks for support of Bethlehem Nativity

Fifty-seven years ago, the three Bethlehem area churches started a tradition that has been presented every Christmas these many years.
The story it portrays never gets old and let’s hope for the sake of us all it never will.
This is the Bethlehem Living Nativity. It takes a lot of dedicated people to keep this special event going each year and we want to thank each one for their help. It is truly a blessing to live in a community of such wonderful, loving Christian people.
May God bless each and every one of you.

The Bethlehem Living Nativity Committee