Suwannee Democrat

Jasper News

February 14, 2013

School Supt. encourages White Springs to pursue charter school

Jasper — White Springs Vice Mayor Walter McKenzie, on behalf of Mayor Helen Miller, addressed the Hamilton County School Board on Monday, Feb. 11 regarding the charter school denial that was voted on by the board on Jan. 28.

“First of all, White Springs appreciates very much and is encouraged by Supt. Moffses’ letter of Feb. 4.,” said McKenzie. “While the letter did decline our charter conversion application, the words that got our attention were the following: The town of White Springs is encouraged to resubmit an application on or before Aug. 1, 2013, for the 2014-15 school year after the foregoing application deficiencies have been remedied.”

McKenzie went on to say that the charter committee has gained a new member who has knowledge and experience with charter schools, and has already started working on some of the issues.

“We look forward to working with you on a cooperative basis to make the changes that are needed, so that the charter conversion process can be successful for both the school district and for our school, so we thank you for that,” McKenzie told the board.

McKenzie reminded the board about the ongoing University of Florida documentary about White Springs, which is part of  “Community Voices”.

“As you know, in White Springs we work hard to stay focused on positive messages,” he continued. “We kind of like what’s working well within our community, like our volunteers who operate the H.O.P.E. Fuel Bank and the H.O.P.E. After School Program, but we also understand that we have our share of problems.”

To deal with those problems effectively, McKenzie said, means understanding the past, the present and what kind of future they want for their community.

“To do this, we are working to empower our citizens to speak up about issues that affect their lives, and to determine what our town government can do to make improvements,” said McKenzie.

He also said that was the reason they got involved in the charter school, as well as other community activities. Voices from the people in the community, he said, give both positive and negative points of view on a variety of issues.

“Our goal remains the same,” he said. “To respect the diversity of our community, to listen to all points of view, and to work together for a better life for our citizens.”

 

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