The Banks County News- August 18, 1999
to be proud
of at new BCHS
Over the years, I have heard this theme
used many times in Banks County High School - "Be Proud,
Well, if students have never had anything to be proud of until
now, they should be impressed when the doors to the new high
school open on Friday.
I've been in and out of the new school over the past week and
it has really come together. One thing I've noticed is that students
are not only getting a new building but a lot of new state-of-the
art equipment as well. The state has contributed a great deal
of money, including a $500,000 grant for technology, and the
board of education has also been willing to go the extra mile
to get other equipment and supplies to make this a first-class
facility. In the band room, other items have come from candy
sales and from contributions from the band boosters.
I'm sure building the new school has been a long time coming
for students who have dodged other students in the lunchroom,
hallways and parking lots for years. But it is one of the first
schools finished since the legislation passed to designate one
cent in sales tax money for education. Which means we can pay
for a great deal of the project though sales tax dollars from
I appreciate the foresight of superintendent Dock Sisk and the
board of education who looked far enough in the future to have
this plan ready to go as soon as a means to collect the money
was available. There was a committee of around 20 people who
worked endlessly to help educate citizens on the importance of
voting for a bond referendum. Those people played a major role
in getting the financing in place to start the building. Banks
County voters also had a vision to get the facility in place
to educate the children of the county when they approved the
Banks County teachers throughout the system have worked endlessly
to see this dream come to pass. Teachers at the high school level
have learned patience waiting for the OK to get into their classrooms
while other teachers have been forced to wait until someone moves
out of an old classroom so they could move in.
As I walked up and down the wings of the high school on Monday,
I too could feel a sense of pride along with everyone there.
I believe the building will enhance learning and I believe a
strong administration has been put in place to support it, as
well. Jan Bertrang, principal, has proven herself as a strong
leader, and the addition of Greg Banks is an asset to our system.
The students also have a strong basis of support with K. Ellen
Hagan as school counselor.
So I believe when Friday rolls around, Banks County teachers,
students, administrators and citizens all have a right to "Be
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The
Banks County News.
Banks County News
August 18, 1999
Many responsible for new high school
Countless educators, parents and students have been working for
some time to bring a much-needed high school to Banks County.
Their efforts will be paid off Friday when the new facility opens
its doors to students.
People throughout Banks County worked long to pass a special
purpose local option sales tax to help fund a new school. Once
this important hurdle was passed, the countians went to work
to plan the design for the new facility. The meetings were long
and the plans changed. In the end, a school that will serve us
well was built for our students.
The new school will be a focal point of our county. It will also
be a great source of pride for years to come. All who were responsible
for the new school deserve our gratitude.
to the Editor
Banks County News
August 18, 1999
After reading the latest about the busing of Baldwin's children
on the Banks County side to the county schools in Homer, I felt
compelled to write this letter. The parents in Baldwin are sounding
as if they have no options in this matter. They are making the
BOEs of Banks and Habersham out to be the ogres in this matter.
Last I read, the Baldwin parents do have a choice. They can continue
to send their children to Habersham County. It's just that now
they, and not the county, have to pay the tuition in order to
Why should Banks County fund these tuitions when everyone knows
we now have the teachers and space to educate our own? Granted,
it will be hard in the beginning for those students who will
be bused from Baldwin, but like all of us, they will take the
necessary steps in order to make the best of it. I don't know
about the rest of you, but I was offended hearing the remarks
of Mr. Mark Reed, the Baldwin mayor, stating that the Banks County
BOE should write a check to Habersham and let them educate these
children. If you are so distraught, Mr. Reed, about these children
being bused to Homer, then the city of Baldwin should write that
check to Habersham. I, for one, am against any tax money being
paid to another county to educate anyone's children when this
county is now fully capable of filling that need.
Now, I realize that some people in Baldwin will say that they
pay taxes, too. Yes, you most certainly do, but those monies
are spent for the upgrading of the infrastructure of this county.
It is not the responsibility of the BOE or any other county government
entity to pay any money to any other county because of a little
inconvenience to a small sect of the population. I'm sorry, Mr.
Reed, but gone are the days when Banks County had to pay these
tuitions for the education of your citizens' children. I know
it must be difficult for you, but get used to the idea that Banks
County is growing and that there will be a lot more changes in
the years to come, so get off the BOE's back.