Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
The Southside is a unique slice of Americana that contains all the ingredients for a wonderful place to call home. This community truly cares about one another and would do anything for someone in need. We truly look out for our friends, family and neighbors. Regardless of the changes that occur, we have managed to hold on to those small-town values in the midst of a progressive and growing community.
I recently had the good fortune to attend two events that highlighted these values and are steeped in tradition that unites a community for no other purposes than fellowship and to renew old friendships. These traditions are the glue that holds community spirit together.
Several weeks ago the president of the Homecroft Town Council, Mrs. Kyle Jones, was kind enough to invite me to the Homecroft National Night Out at Southport Presbyterian Church, where a picnic was held.
Homecroft and Perry Township police officers played games with the children, who had the opportunity to informally interact with the officers while gaining an understanding that these individuals are there for their protection. The barbecue was fantastic, but more importantly, the fellowship was delightful.
Most recently, the Hill Valley Homeowners Association and its president, Charles Eldridge, invited me to their annual picnic at German Park.
Our school board and administrative team have been studying the issues raised by a muddy athletic field at Perry Meridian High School, one that cannot be used the majority of the time because its condition. It’s often off limits to physical education classes, the band and sports teams. Perry Meridian has never held a football game at home in its 43 years of existence.
When our school board and administrative team began considering the possibility of repairing the drainage system and converting the field into a stadium, people were concerned. They understood it would entail adding lighting, bleachers, rest rooms and locker rooms. The people in that subdivision were concerned about the impact to their homes.
I am thankful for the invitation to attend this picnic. Two school administrators and I were able to answer questions and clarify misinformation. This time on a Friday evening was well spent. The kind words and expressions of gratitude were much appreciated. I have found the key to a positive working relationship is just taking the time to sit down with someone, break bread and share accurate information.
I enjoy taking the time and getting to know the people who I rarely have an opportunity to visit and chat with. People are surprised when we remind them that about 75 percent of our residents no longer have children in school. The perception that they have of their schools develops through conversations with their neighbors or via news articles, the Internet or television.
If you belong to an organization that meets on a regular basis and would like more information about Perry Township Schools, we would be happy to attend.