Green embracing role as voice of district

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

October 12, 2013

BLAIR — School Superintendent J.R. Green touched on a variety of issues with the public including elevating the perception of the district in the state and surrounding counties during his latest town hall meeting held Oct. 2 at McCrorey-Liston.

Green mentioned how his goal is to be the voice of the district in Fairfield County and mentioned the public appearances he makes on television and in person. He was appreciative of the good relations the district has with the local media, as well.

“The school board embraces that (public relations approach) so as we do (these events) the public profile of the district begins to rise,” he said.

Green also mentioned evidence that some of the students in Fairfield County achieve at the highest levels of any in the state. He re-emphasized the STEM early college academy as being as good as any anywhere. Though there remains work to be done in some end of course assessment scores, particularly in history, he is excited for the progress shown recently in AP courses with the pass rate improving to 22 percent.

Community member Tangee Jacobs requested the district prepare a flier for Realtors to use that touts the gains the district has made in recent months. Green said such material is being developed by Dr. Claudia Edwards and by Jackie Wallace to help market the district and county.

Bow Tie Club

In about three weeks a Bow Tie Club will start at Fairfield Middle School. Tony Armstrong will furnish bow ties for the boys and the mentors from the community who participate. The club is built around the five wells that make a Morehouse Man, being well rounded, well spoken, well dressed, well traveled and well balanced.

The bow ties are being supplied by Price’s Drug store. Green said students will read books, poems, take trips to Charleston and Greenville and practice public speaking.

“We need men to step forward and help with this mentoring effort,” he said.

The requirements are for a man to spend time with the ‘tweens and teens and, of course, learn to tie a bow tie. The club will be limited to all boys.

The girls that age already have the Elite Ladies Club led by Tori Armstrong and Kim Siebles with about 35 youth participating. Green said parents can attend the orientation but after that they need to entrust their children to the mentor leaders. That environment can free teens to have open conversations and engage more in the group setting, according to the leaders.

Care, communication

Green said the district examined its band instruments and realized that many were broken or in need of replacement. Band Director Davaran Edwards helped with that assessment but noted many of the instruments were in poor condition due to mishandling.

Green said students must be educated about that and made aware the expectation is to keep repaired/new instruments in pristine working order.

He plans to continue his full schedule of public appearances as a way to change the narrative surrounding the district and said he is noticing a higher regard for the district during the appearances.