Many reasons to be thankful

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By Ron Benningfield

In this season of Thanksgiving, we at LaRue County Schools also have many reasons to be thankful.

We are thankful for having a district mission statement that serves as a guide for us to follow, telling not only who we are, but also why we exist:

“The mission of the LaRue County School District, in partnership with the entire community, is to provide all students, through individualized learning experiences, the knowledge, critical thinking, and life skills to succeed in a diverse society.”

We are not a district that stands alone, but one that is “in partnership with the entire community.” We are thankful for a community such as LaRue County whose citizens overwhelmingly support our children and their education.

Why do we exist? We are here to impart to all our students not only knowledge and life skills, but also the skills to think critically, to solve problems that they may face in adult life. And how do we do that?  Through individualized learning experiences, our teachers must adapt instruction that will reach the many diverse ways that more than 2,400 students in our district learn.

Not an easy task? No, it certainly isn’t. But we are thankful for a school board that is dedicated to seeing that this mission is carried out, and whose members hold as their top priorities the students’ needs and chances for success in life.

These board members – Dawn Conner, Linda Pearman, Mike Hornback, Price Smith, and Joanna Hinton – are, after all, members of the community. They have an important stake in how our district performs because they live here and either have or have had children educated here.

We are thankful for administrative staff that also are loyal to the district’s mission and for the instructional and support staff who turn the ideas and policies formed by the school board into reality as they educate our students.

Spend some time with our teachers and you will see there’s no such thing as a 7:45 until 3:15 workday for them. They log many before-and-after school hours, all directed toward providing their students with the knowledge, critical thinking, and life skills mentioned in the mission statement. 

Those employees who support the teachers and students ensure that our pupils will arrive at and from school safely, will have a clean, safe, comfortable environment in which to learn, grow and improve, and will be provided good nutrition while at school.

Most of all, we are thankful for our students, who, in a few years will assume the responsibilities that their parents now have, and will take their places in the adult world. A large majority of our students excel not only in academics, but also in extra-curricular activities as well.  

To see a child’s eyes “light up” when the learning moment comes, to see him grow not only physically, but also academically gives us hope for the future and makes us thankful that we live in a country that guarantees that our children have the right to a free public education.

Happy Thanksgiving.