Friday Link Fest & Open Thread

Happy Friday the 13th!  I turned 13 on a Friday the 13th … besides it being an overall craptastic first year as a teenager, the day has never bode ill will overall (for me anyway).  What kind of Friday the 13th experiences have you had?  As a treat, here’s a link to some strange things that have happened on Friday the 13th’s.  Coincidence?

Roy Waldron Elementary School is set to have the playground ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 19th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Help the school celebrate their big Pepsi grant win!

Planning Commission Chairman John Rutledge remembered as a great man who loved LaVergne.

Did you know LaVergne has a curfew for teenagers?  We now know it!  Oops…. hats off to our police force for watching out for our kids and demonstrating the exact right amount of scaring the crap out of the kids while respecting the parents ability to mete out the punishment.  Well done, officers!

On the campaign front, we will apparently have three candidates at this point running for mayorj.  Two have turned in their papers:  Incumbent Ronnie Erwin and Alderwoman Senna Mosley.  Mike Slinker has picked up his papers.

For Alderman, we may see eight candidates in all.  Officially on the ballot:  Chris Farmer, Katherine (Kandy) Pierce, and Teresa Bess Smith.  Others who have picked up papers: Randy Barnes, Thomas Broeker, David Gammon, Sherry Green, and Joshua Pope.

Finally, we are seeking questions that you have for our local candidates.  If you have any, send them to me at kathy (dot) tyson (at) comcast (dot) net and we’ll see if we can get some answers for you!

Open Letter to New LHS Team

Dear Mr. Ash, new administrators, faculty, and staff,

First, congratulations on your new jobs!  You have made some really great impressions somewhere in your educational careers to land the top job (and support jobs) at LHS.  Middle School Principal of the Year in 2009-10 is quite an accomplishment and we are very proud that a LaVergne school was recognized in such a positive way.

I was at the school on Monday night (the Blue Light Special) and really like the new paint in hallways.  I was unable to look around the rest of the school, but the smell of fresh paint was abundant.   I think the custodial crew must deserve some credit for that… good job everyone!

The “Blue Light Special” was a bit chaotic. I would have liked it better had it been spread out because crowds make me very very nervous and we had about 1000 people jammed onto the floor space of the gym.  For example, you could have had the juniors and seniors upstairs and the freshmen and sophomores on the main floor of the gym.  You did jump in about halfway through the evening to relieve some of the chaos by removing the seniors to the cafeteria, the juniors to the auditorium, and the sophomores to the second floor. Another suggestion is next time have the station signs hung above the stations rather than on the front of the tables. When the gym filled up, no one could read where the different stations were because the sea of bodies quite adequately blocked them.  Anyway, I’m glad you recognized the problem and addressed it.  Thank you for relieving that stress factor.

Meanwhile looking to the upcoming school year, you definitely have your work cut out for you.

I’ve heard about kids who make out (read between those lines… what you’re imagining is what I’ve heard happens) in the stairwells.  I’ve heard about kids who just trot over to another car and leave the campus in the mornings after being dropped off by their parents.  I’ve heard about the fights.  I’ve heard about bullies.  I’ve also heard about teachers who say one thing, then say another, and finally punish the students for being confused.  I’ve heard there are some really burnt-out teachers who no longer care and are just putting time in until retirement.

You have your work cut out for you.

I remember going to see a school play and seeing a mouse run across the stage.  There are cleanliness and rodent issues that you’re already addressing with your new staff.  I’ve heard about items being stolen from gym lockers after the kids dress-out and go to class.  You have students with anger issues.  You have students who are disrespectful.  You have students with a mile of attitude who have been raised to scorn education and intelligence.  It saddens me to see what could be good minds (perhaps the person who might have found the cure for cancer) wasted through learned ignorance and defiance.

I hate seeing underwear because kids have their pants drooped to their knees in the name of fashion.  Those are the things that distract other students, not a pink streak in the hair.  Hoodies?  I see nothing wrong with wearing them as long as they aren’t UP and hiding headphones.  I would rather see a UNIFORM for everyone than trying to navigate complex and silly dress code rules.  (The kids may not agreed, but still…)

Meanwhile, please remember there are a lot of GOOD students who also attend.  Sometimes these good kids make bad decisions and they should be held accountable.  But remember a lesson can be learned sometimes with just a simple talk with the principal or assistant principal.  Not every kid has to be suspended, expelled, or radically disciplined.  Recognize that punishment must fit the crime. Anytime a kid is removed from class for a minor reason (e.g., a tiny hole in their jeans) it’s an hour (or more) that the child loses in education.   We aren’t perfect as parents, you aren’t perfect as academicians, so let’s try to remember learning is the reason they are there… and WEIGH the value of education against a minor infraction.

Recognize that some of the kids who get in trouble may just need to see that an adult cares about them and their future.  Recognize that there are children who fall between the cracks and who could blossom with a kind word.  Yes, education should provide opportunities for everyone, but perhaps some of these kids have not been raised in an environment where learning is emphasized.  You can teach them that every decision they make today could impact their future.

If they act like they don’t care, bring in people to talk with them who have survived car wrecks, child abuse, neglect, parents in prison, and unmotivated lifestyles.  Show them they can make good decisions – to read a book, to turn off the cell phones, to carefully choose their friends.

You have your work cut out for you.  So meanwhile as a parent, I pledge to do what I can to help you, the teachers, the staff, and MY CHILD. The phone will be confiscated at 9:00 p.m.  There will be no TV or computer until homework is done.  If I get attitude, it will be corrected.  I will hear the teachers side of the story before I jump to conclusions and swear my angel did nothing wrong.

But listen to us, too.

We can survive high school by working together to support our children.  Are you in?  What else can we do to help?

Remember law is not always justice.

And,

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.  ~Jonathan Swift, A Critical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind, 1707

(Let’s catch the wasps and hornets at LHS!)

The more laws the more offenders.  ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

(And let’s make the rules count… not silly!)

Finally,

They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.
— Anonymous

Good luck for the 2010-11 school year!

Congrats Mr. Ash

Mr. Dirk Ash has been named the Middle School Principal of the Year for Tennessee!  Congratulations!

According to the DNJ,

Now designated a state winner in the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program, Ash is eligible in consideration to be the National Principal of the Year.The MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program annually honors one middle level and one high school winner from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. From this pool of outstanding administrators, three national finalists will be named in each level in June.

Warm congratulations!

Class of 2010 on WGNS

Mike Sparks of WGNS radio sent me this link where members of the class of 2010 spoke,

“]

The program airs every other week from the YMCA on Sam Ridley Parkway with Bryan Barrett and Mike (who is a County Commissioner). Thanks for the link, Mike!

Help Waldron Elementary Get New Playground

Today and tomorrow are the last days to vote at the Pepsi Refresh Project so that LaVergne’s own Waldron Elementary School can get a new playground.  Every month the ginormous corporation is funding special projects throughout the U.S. and our school applied to get $25,000 in grant money to go toward new playground equipment.

In the application, the need for second grade students was stressed,

There is only one playground creating a dangerous situation in which too many students are in an area at one time and seven year olds are playing in an area with eleven year olds.

If you want to vote, go to the Pepsi Refresh Project.  You will be required to register OR if you have a Facebook account, you can connect to it and vote that way from the same link.

EVERYONE IN LaVERGNE … please respond!  Thank you!

Waldron Elementary Needs New Playground

Roy Waldron Elementary School holds a dear place in my heart.  I served as PTO president when my youngest daughter attended back oh-so-many years ago.  I still feel a sense of pride that we were able to raise the money to build a fence around the playground because it gave me the heebie-jeebies that kids were playing right next to the street without that added protection.

The school needs our help again.  Here’s what I received from Angie Mayes today,

Please help Roy Waldron School receive a $25,000 grant from Pepsi to build a playground. Go to http://www.rws.rcs.k12.tn.us/.  On the right side of our web page, click on Roy Waldron’s Playground.  Follow the directions from there, and vote for our playground.

We are currently #59 and must climb to the top ten to get the grant. There are only 24 days left to vote. You may vote one time per day on each IP address available to you.  We have had difficulty getting registered here at our school, but have been successful when registering from a home computer. Registration is free. Once you have registered and entered a password, you do not have to reregister each time you vote. Please help us get to the top ten.

Tell everyone you know to help us out by voting every day. Thank You! Roy Waldron School

Contact Dr. Pewitt at the school for more information. 793-7738.

Again, visit the school website here and click on the Pepsi Grant info at the right hand side to register.  THANK YOU!

News Links…

Michael in LV wrote this in the bulletin section.  I thought the links and his insight deserved its own post.

Not sure if any of you saw this article, but here are details on whats happening with the old and new assistant principals at LHS:

LaVergne HS Assistants Reassigned

Also another article about some workers at the Firestone plant in La Vergne are apparently upset at Bridgestone for spending money to try and sell more tires:

Some at Bridgestone Unhappy with Marketing Costs

(I think the new Bridgestone Arena could count as a marketing cost!)

My photo after the big SEC Tournament outside the Bridgestone Arena…

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