Class in session for teachers

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan addresses the district's teachers and staff during Monday's system-wide institute. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan addresses the district’s teachers and staff during Monday’s system-wide institute. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Class was in session Monday for approximately 400 teachers in the Butler County School System.

The Butler County School System kicked off the new academic year Monday with its system-wide institute, which was held at the Greenville High School auditorium.

Along with training sessions, and an introduction of the recently completed strategic plan, the program also focused on the partnership between the school system and the community that it serves.

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“Our community is stronger because we do work together,” Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan. “We’re all in it to improve our community. It takes good schools and it takes good leaders and it takes us working together.”

McKenzie Mayor Lester Odom, who was among several local officials that attended a portion of the institute, said McKenzie School is a vital part of his town’s community.

“The school in McKenzie is not an excess, it is our heartbeat,” Odom said. “It is what our community is circled around. I want to thank each and every educator there for what they do for our community.”

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon pointed out just how important a strong school system is to the City of Greenville and Butler County. McLendon has often said that the school system is the most important economic development tool the county has.

“What you do is the most important thing that happens in this county,” McLendon said while addressing the system’s teachers and staff. “These kids are our future. We’ve got to make sure we do a great job. … I appreciate what you all do. I appreciate the board (of education). I want you all to know that I’m here, and the City of Greenville is here, to support the school system in any way we can.”

Butler County Commission Chairman Allin Whittle pledged the county’s support to the school system.

“We made a commitment when we first got elected that we would serve no matter what, and that we would serve the needs of all of our citizens, especially in our schools,” Whittle said. “We made a commitment then that whatever the schools need, if we were able, we would go ahead and jump right in and take care of it.”

Butler County Board of Education member Linda Hamilton encouraged the teachers to not only challenge, but encourage the students, during the upcoming school year.

“I feel the overwhelming excitement in the room as we embark on a new year,” said BOE member Linda Hamilton. “Please remember the child who believes he can do something is probably right. And so is the child who believes he can’t. Let’s encourage our children this year to believe they can.”

During Monday’s session, Bryan also recognized approximately 100 teachers and administrators that are products of the Butler County School System, as well as teachers who have more than 20 years of experience.

A number of members of the class of 2027 also helped provide a picture of what a college and career ready student looks like. College and career ready refers to the content knowledge, skills, and habits that students must possess to be successful in postsecondary education or training that leads to a sustaining career.

The incoming kindergartners were dressed as an astronaut, police officer, doctor, welder, carpenter, accountant, businesswoman and more to give those in attendance a glimpse at what it really means to be college and career ready.

“This is what college and career ready looks like,” Bryan said as the students made their way onto the auditorium’s stage. “All of our students can be anything they want to be. We have the responsibility of making sure that they get a great foundation all the way from Pre-K to 12th grade and we make sure they are college and career ready.”