Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2007
Shine, NP students, in spite of
By Myra Bean
Just when you think it could only get better, things have gotten worse for the North Panola School system.
In the sports world, that means four weeks before the first game of the season, North Panola is looking for another head football coach. Since I took over the reigns of the sporting news at The Panolian in 1998, North Panola has gone through five head coaches.
That’s ridiculous. The players and the other students the coaches teach need the continuity of having a leader they can depend on.
Coach Clifton Davis was removed from the position he had held for over 20 years by those who thought they knew better. They are no longer at the school either. There followed one person who was not certified and he lasted only two years.
Brown Walker turned the program around and got the team to the playoffs and then he and his staff were replaced. The decision was made by people who thought they knew what was better for the players. Those people are no longer at the school either.
The next-to-the-last coach was dismissed because, from what I was told, discipline was a problem under him. I saw a person who had a strong discipline hand and who did not let the kids run wild, but what do I know?
He went back to Meridian and led his track team to the state championship. So obviously those in the know knew what they were talking about, huh?
Coach Vincent Johnson and I had a couple of conversations where I asked him after last season to please stay another year and give some security to the kids.
Just before school was out I had another conversation and asked him to stay despite all that was going on at the school.
Obviously, that talk did not help. He is leaving, too, after getting the kids to start talking positive talk.
To the kids, in spite of all that is going on at your school, keep your heads up. Don’t give in to despair. See all of that stuff going on up there as a test and study to pass it.
Continue to set your goals high and graduate with top honors in spite of all the negative talk. Study to get your state test grades as high as you can in spite of all the negative talk about you.
Your future is in your own hands and you have to want something for yourselves sometimes.
You should want to be the shining star through the dark clouds hanging over the school system. Prove people wrong. Prosper in your education despite teachers jumping ship.
A word to the teachers:
You are appreciated. Sure, you are underpaid along with police officers and firefighters. You knew that going into your chosen profession.
Not everyone can be a teacher. That’s why the rest of us do what we do.
To those educators in the North Panola school system who remain and have been there through the all the tough times, you should be commended. Those teachers who could not take the pressure, I don’t know what to say.
When you make decisions to leave like that, remember the children will be the ones who pay the ultimate price.
That Superintendent Lucinda Carter would even want to take on that mess got my attention. I wonder if the other superintendent candidates are now wiping their brows, thankful that they were not chosen to try to clean up something that has been brewing for many years.
This is a test, North Panola. You are now in the fire. Will you come out smelling like like smoke? Or will you be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, and come out unharmed?