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Strycker wants to go from ‘good to great’

Butler County Schools Superintendent John Strycker wants to see the system connect with all its students, and he believes finding the right extracurricular activities for the youngsters can help make that happen.

“Although there is still some room to tighten up a little, we have seen great improvements in the behavior of our students; now we want to take the next step,” Strycker said at last week’s BOE meeting.

“I want to see every student in the sixth grade through the 12th grade participate in at least one extra-curricular activity per year and we are striving to get more funding to do this.”

The superintendent stressed the importance of viewing the students on an intellectual, emotional and spiritual level, adding,

“I believe when we focus on the student as a whole, we will not only  see  higher test scores, we will see more football championships and robotic championships, too.”

For K-6 students, Strycker said plans are in place to develop their leadership skills in a program based on Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, “7 Habits of Effective People.”

Strycker praised the principals and their staffs at the county’s schools for the improvements in the appearance of each campus’s grounds, and also touched on the ongoing renovations of some of the system’s restrooms.

“My wife is one of a whole group of people who have undertaken the restroom renovations—and it may seem like a small change, but it was something that was really needed and others are clamoring to be added to the list,” he said. “What we are doing doesn’t cost much money. It’s sweat equity, and what we can do with that is amazing.”

Strycker also addressed the proposed amphitheater at the old baseball field, where a former Major League farm team once played ball as far back as the 1910s to ‘20s. 

“We want to create something that can be used to promote the arts through concerts and other performances, as well as church and community events. We would be working with the City of Greenville for the concrete work–and where that former maintenance building is located, we would look at tearing that down and using the concrete slab for picnic tables,” said Strycker.

The tab for the amphitheater would run close to $350,000, combining an $125,000 investment from the school system, matching grant monies and assistance from the city.

The superintendent also shared with each of the board members copies of the book he considers something of a blueprint for his vision for the Butler County School System.

“‘Good to Great’ is the script I am following . . . it focuses on the top 100 companies over a ten-year period to see what they’ve done right. It’s practical and non-emotional . . . I do have some extra copies, so just call me and we will have lunch and I will get you a copy,” Strycker said.

The next BOE meeting is slated for November 16 at 6 p.m. in the McKenzie School library.