Normally, I complain about progress, it usually warrants it. Just ask anyone my age and we will tell you what is wrong with the world. But I have to say, I stand amazed and corrected in the vast improvements I have recently seen in Calhoun High School. I graduated in 1980, forty years ago this year. I saw one of my sophomore-year teachers, Coach Phil Robbins, a few days ago, and he suggested I go see the newly built High School and meet the warm and personable School Principal, Peter Coombe.
So, I made an appointment, and I’m glad I did. Far from being the kind of schools I attended, there is a new emphasis on academic growth and development, as well as a wide variety of opportunities for the local youth to choose a path that will enhance their future possibilities. I saw a lot of happy faces everywhere I went on the tour of the school.
A great teacher inspires and challenges their students. I still remember my favorite teacher, Gail Satterfield, who made going to school and attending class fun, as well as educational, even back then.
Being young in the world today has to be a lot harder on children and adolescents than in it was in my youth. There are so many more problems and pressures on them today, that my generation didn’t have to face until later in life. It is a shame that there are some children in the world that are hurting and being ignored, so much that they have to resort to violence to be heard.
So, just like most people, I’m used to only hearing about the “bad” things that happen in schools around the country. And, I experienced the aftereffect of that when I had to get “buzzed in” to get inside the school to meet with Principle Coombe. Schools used to be safer when I attended them. But at least the precautions are for their protection.
As I was leaving, I took a moment to meet the School Resource Officer, Mark Waycaster. If anyone deserves to be called a “hero” it is this man. He has dedicated his life to protecting Gordon County children. He guards, intercedes and protects everyone in the school with a proud sense of duty.
So, maybe there is hope left in the world today. Sometimes it is just about knowing where to look. So, I want to take this opportunity to Thank all the wonderful people I met at Calhoun High School, both today and forty years ago. And, I want to encourage every student to make the most of their school days and the opportunities they are being offered.
Randall k. Holmes