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OPINION PAGE - FEBRUARY 9, 2000 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
February 9, 2000

BOE right in naming White superintendent
Deborah White has worked in the Banks County School System for 25 years. She knows how the system operates better than anyone outside the county would. She has the background, education and experience needed to lead the school system forward.
The board of education made the right decision in its unanimous vote to offer her the superintendent's job. Some people will complain that a search was not conducted. The BOE knows how difficult it would be to find a qualified superintendent to take over with the school year well under way. They also know that White would still be the best-qualified because she has more experience in this county than anyone else who could apply.
In the public sector, it is acceptable to promote from within without conducting a search.
The BOE was elected by the people of this county to make these tough decisions. It made the right decision this time. Everyone should join together and move forward so that our young people have the best education possible. Squabbling over the lack of a search won't benefit the system.


Letters
The Banks County News
February 9, 2000

Questions BOE's lack of search for superintendent
Dear Editor:
First, let me say I agree with the letter by Joe Davidson wholeheartedly. If there is one bright spot in our county's educational system, it is Jimmy Hooper. Both of my daughters have gone to Banks County Primary School with Jimmy Hooper as their principal. During this time, Mr. Hooper has been all we, as parents, needed him to be; humble, knowledgeable, helpful, informative and more than any of these, concerned about the education and well-being of my children, as well as all the other Banks County children.
I believe that any negative actions by the board of education or the new superintendent such as reassignment, dismissal, poor evaluations or any type of action that would hinder Mr. Hooper from effectively educating our children should be considered a slap in the face of the citizens of Banks County and should not be tolerated.
In regard to the article in The Banks County News dated February 2, 2000: "White chosen as superintendent (Board of Education decides against conducting a search)." I find it hard to believe that the best qualified person to direct our school system and educate our children was already here and it was not discovered until the resignation of Dock Sisk. If the law says that a search must be made, then the board of education does not have the right to decide otherwise (maybe the county attorney needs to look into this issue).
I looked in Webster's Dictionary to gain an insight into the word "search," and this is what I found: search - (1) To make a thorough examination of in order to find something; explore (2) To make a careful investigation of; probe (3) To make a thorough check of; scrutinize.
Mrs. White may be qualified, she may have all the credentials, but if there was no search, no comparisons against other equally qualified educators, how do we know she is the best person for the job?
Mr. Davidson, you may be right. We may need fresh new faces. At the least, we need board of education members that will use the dictionary to look up words they don't know the meaning of.
Sincerely,
Charles Whitey
Gillsville

Column
By Amanda Roberts
The Banks County News
February 9, 2000

Man's best friend
Everyone in our family has their own special Pooh stories to share. Angie can finally laugh about all of the times Pooh made her late for work. She often found him midway down the Cabin Creek Road and had to get him in her car and take him back home. He would run toward the car as she called him, smiling and wagging his tail. He would hop in the car, rubbing against her work clothes, and sit in the passenger seat.
Mama laughs about how Pooh would follow her around during storms because he was so scared. He would take his paw and rub it against her to try and get her to pet him.
My Daddy has the most stories to share since Pooh was his baby. Pooh would sit in the yard every day waiting for him to get home from work. He would then run along behind his truck and jump up on him once they arrived at the shop.
Pooh made me laugh a lot too, including the times Daddy and I gave him a bath. I can also finally laugh about the way he would "tell" on me when I got home late at night. Pooh would welcome me, no matter how late it was, with loud, excited barks that most likely woke up everybody in the neighborhood.
Pooh also made me cry one time. Angie and I saw a ball of red fur on the highway near our home. We hurried over and I burst into tears. Angie quickly said, "Amanda, stop it, it's not Pooh." I had cried a few tears over another dog. This time, though, the tears are for real. We really lost Pooh this time after a car hit him on the busy highway near our home.
My father is a unique individual. He enjoys collecting various items, ranging from coins to glassware to guns to cars and even junk. He gets so mad when I call him a "junk magnet." We never know what he will bring home from a day's trade. Sometimes the items have to be towed in! That's why I rolled my eyes the day he called and said, "I've got a surprise for you when you get home."
Well, the surprise turned out to be two bundles of joy. Daddy brought home two chow puppies, one black, one red. They were for me and my cousin, Heather. We named them Pooh and Bear. Bear's life was cut short when he was hit by a car on the highway.
Now, Pooh was a friendly rascal. He enjoyed visiting all of the neighbors' dogs. It was quite comical to us when we rode up and down the Cabin Creek Church Road. You could tell which houses Pooh had visited. The front yard was full of small red bundles of joy.
We had him neutered so that he would quit wandering away from home. He became the baby of the family. Daddy and I would bathe him, brush him and spoil him rotten. We became very protective of Pooh.
Pooh was 11 this year. Over the past year, he had become senile. He was often disoriented and got lost easily. That explains his accident last week. Pooh was hit and killed by a car. Our family has certainly been blessed to have such a loving pet as Pooh. He was loving, playful, protective and my Daddy's best friend. He will be missed greatly. At least we all have our special Pooh stories to share with one another.
Amanda Roberts is a fourth grade teacher at Maysville Elementary School and a resident of Homer.


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