Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
The traditions of Perry Township serve as the glue that bonds our community. There is nothing like the excitement of homecoming week. I especially enjoy the competitions that occur among the classes. For some reason the seniors typically win. School spirit is alive and well at Perry Meridian and Southport high schools.
Each year my wife and I go to the store and select the candy that will be thrown out of the convertible cars as they circle through the neighborhoods. The South Central Indianapolis Corvette Club graciously brings its pride-and-joy vehicles to both parades and donates its time to drive us. Bill Thorpe has kindly driven me each year in his 1991 Corvette, which looks like it just came off the showroom floor. Thank goodness he never complains about the leftover Snickers that fall between the seats.
Everybody loves a parade, and although the processions do not begin until 5:30 p.m., one can see beach chairs lined up on the street at noon to save a front-row seat or to secure a nice shady spot to sit.
I am the fortunate one who is extended the opportunity to participate in homecoming events at Perry Meridian and Southport. I throw 11 large bags of candy to the children and yes, even adults sitting along the route.
There are more than 1,000 students in Grades 1-12 and adults in each parade. Classes, clubs and teams from the high, middle and elementary schools and Perry Township Youth Football teams and cheerleading squads participate. Principals, the Teacher of the Year, administrators and board members also take part.
Although the parades are largely student run, more than 50 staff members are required to help organize the line-ups. Police officers are on duty to work to ensure safety.
We have just enjoyed two amazing parades, and Perry Meridian’s was a huge success. Participation levels have increased dramatically, and the route was filled with patrons expressing their appreciation for our work.
Southport’s parade was equally successful. Both bands were impressive as they played their school songs with a sense of pride.
One of the most impressive aspects of the parades is the attraction of so many members of the alumni associations. These individuals travel hundreds of miles to relive fond memories of their life in Perry Township. Welcome back home and come back soon!
Our community never ceases to amaze me with the support it gives to school events such as homecoming. Residents of the Southside care about their children and their schools. It is an honor to serve this community as its superintendent of schools.