Beech Grove City Schools Supt. Laura Hammack emphasizes the success of the schools during remarks at a recent Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
(SOUTHSIDER VOICE PHOTO BY AL STILLEY)
Beech Grove City Schools Supt. Laura Hammack linked the city and the schools together as one during her remarks at a recent Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce luncheon May 11 at Hornet Park Community Center.
She emphasized, “Beech Grove is one in the same – without the city, there is no school; without the schools, the city loses its sizzle.”
Hammack, who is finishing her second school year at the helm, cited the city’s increase in full housing, its activity on Main Street, additional city walking trails, and the new police station under construction as assets.
She also emphasized the motto “love when you learn” by stating, “We are unapologetic in using the word ‘love’-if love comes first; then the rest comes together.”
Hammack, who earned her doctorate at Indiana State University, also listed a Top Ten list of what makes Beech Grove City Schools special: diversity, devoted educators (20 percent of teachers and staff previously attended Beech Grove schools), academic excellence, arts, athletics, building leaders, community, facilities, safety, and fun.
She particularly acknowledged Bruce Bye as the “godfather of the FFA (Future Farmers of America)” at BGHS and for founding the agricultural education program. The FFA at its recent banquet made her an honorary FFA member. And she made special mention of taking part in a high school art class the morning of the luncheon.
A major change ahead for high school students will be the offering of “core content” classes in the first two years and an academic emphasis on the students’ special interests for various pathways during their junior and senior years.
“We have created a culture of learning for all,” Hammack stated.
After her formal remarks, Hammack took questions from attendees and was asked for her “wishes” in education.
Her “dreamy wish” would be for all students who come to school feeling safe, valued, respected, and loved and that would also be the experience in the home of every student served.
Her other wish would be to find a remedy to the inequities of school funding for a more equitable way for operational (non-teaching) funding.
“This is a tough job,” she concluded, “But it’s the best job in the world.”
Hammack had served in an administrative role with Beech Grove City Schools before serving as superintendent of Brown County Schools through the 2020-2021 school year.
Beech Grove City Schools consists of Hornet Park Early Learning Center, Central and Hornet Park elementary schools, South Grove intermediate school, and the middle and high schools.