Your opinion: April 15, 2017

Published 5:45 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

Parent has high praise for local educators
Great Principals
I would like to thank Coleman Price, (Principal of Americus Sumter Ninth Grade Academy), William Bell (Assistant Principal of Americus Sumter Ninth Grade Academy) Dr. Lezley Anderson (Principal of Sumter County Primary), Jason Reese (Assistant Principal of Sumter County Primary. These great principals have proven to be community builders. There are two words with great implications for education. They are “aspire” and “inspire.” These words share Latin root “spiro” which translates as “breathe” or “breathe life into.” Strong school leaders strive to inspire their staff and students as they aspire to promote high effectiveness for staff and high achievement for students. These four individuals have displayed to be leaders who breathe new life into their school. As Principal Price speaks on a daily basis, “respect, love one another as brothers and sisters, and do what is right.” Well, I believe that the best leaders for our children are, “Price, Bell, Anderson, and Reese. If it works, leave it alone.
To: Price and Bell
It is an honor to have you as leaders for my son Devante’ Green, who is a Beta Club member and Honor Roll student of Americus Sumter Ninth Grade Academy. You discuss daily with the students about leading, learning, and loving. Well, anyone can say the words, but I want you to know that you are these words. The both of you are inspirational leaders, and the support and respect of an effective principal are critical to keeping the students motivated. I love your high expectations, warm manners and sense of humor. You care about the students, teachers, and the wider school community. Your focus is always on the students as dedicated professionals working together to make a difference in their lives. Together you ensure student success. You are and have created such a powerful community of learners among the students, and more specifically among the teachers. You interact with the students in the halls, at lunch, and in the classrooms while teaching them respect and love for themselves and others. You guys are loved, respected, and hold such powerful weight. “Creating love creates success.” You are helping and filling a father role for many of the students, and that means a lot. You are one of my son’s role model and you inspire him to dream, work, and reach his goals in life. The kindness that you have shown has gotten his attention and my attention as well. Every day in his life, you helped plant a seed of curiosity and motivation for him to grow and succeed to his full potential. We are thankful for all that you have done by helping to open up his young mind showing him the wonder of the intellect and the miracle of thinking for himself. You are a positive effect in his life and other students as well. I want you both to know that you are a direct contributor to the passion of leading, learning, loving, and education. You are setting a powerful example for principals everywhere. Your assignment is to know your value to the world, to acknowledge it, and to believe it.
To: Anderson and Reese
It has a been a pleasure to have you as a leader for my daughter Nyla Reece. It is a joy to know that her young mind has expanded under your leadership. Great principals aspire to ensure that our teachers are inspired and equipped to stay. You work with students who possess a wide range of talents, language issues, and learning needs. You are a lead learner and supportive principal who coaches and develop the students to the highest levels possible and who create positive collaborative cultures where students can thrive. I love to watch your cape float in the air behind you as you travel the halls to ensure success. I love that the students display love for you as you walk the halls and it gives me great joy in knowing that my little one is in great care. You developed positive relationships with both the parents and students that serve your school. You are leaders in supporting the family and collaborating with staff to ensure the success of students. I like the fact that you never let anything sit on your desk that could be handled at that moment. You tackle every issue right then if possible, whether it was a signature, an appointment, or a proposal. Your focused attention when I had a concern made me feel like my daughter and I were important and taken seriously. You are innovative, compassionate, loved, respected, and a visionary. Together your focus is what we can do together to improve our school, our classrooms, and our students learning. You are a direct contributor to the passion of education. Your assignment as well, is to know your value to the world, to acknowledge it, and to believe it.
To: The Parents of Sumter County
Our great principals need your support and love to remain leaders so they can ensure student success. We as parents have such powerful voices if we use them correctly. Our community needs all of the positive things to happen. We need to be involved, stay involved, and be totally aware of our children’s surroundings. Use social media for positive things, not negative. We cannot retain or gain something or someone by being silent. In order to be truly heard, we must do it with class; in decent order. So parents, I challenge you to stop talking amongst yourselves, stand tall, and show some action.
Harvetta Cason

Former slave to be honored by SCV
On May 8, 1862, three friends from Americus who were members of the 12th Georgia Regiment were killed at the Battle of McDowell, VA. They were Capt. William Furlow, Capt. Samuel Dawson, and 2nd Lt. William H. Turpin. They got together the night before the battle with Capt. Furlow’s slave, Pete, and gave their valuables to him in case they were killed the next day.
Pete collected their bodies, packed them in coal, and got them to a railroad station. He rode with them to Americus so they could be buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.
On Saturday, May 6, the Alexander H. Stephens Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a Memorial Service and Granite marker dedication for Pete. The Service will start at 10 a.m. at the Old Masonic Hall on Crawford Street in Americus. The guest speaker, Ms. Teresa Roane from Richmond, VA, will be speaking about black Confederates. She is the National Archivist for the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
After the Service, attendees will proceed to Oak Grove Cemetery for the 11:30 a.m. marker dedication for Pete. The public is invited to attend both events.
Members of the SCV in Americus are trying to locate descendants of Pete, Capt. Furlow, Capt. Dawson, and Lt. Turpin. If you are a descendant or know the names of one, please contact James Gaston at 924-7460 (938-9115 cell) or John Carroll at 942-5879.
James Gaston