Except for a lack of rain, the weather has been perfect, making it a beautiful time to be in Thomson. It's nice to see things growing fresh and new after all the damage left by the tornado. So I am interested to see how this year's Mission:McDuffie turns out. I wonder if there will be more jobs than usual. I'm sure the young people of McDuffie County will continue their great reputation and give a strong turn-out for the effort. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or if you'd like to be involved, all the details can be found on page 1B of this paper.
We had a group of visitors this week who probably didn't have much time to appreciate what a beautiful time it is to be in Thomson. A small group of educators from all over the Southeast arrived Sunday evening to "inspect" the school system for district-wide accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The review team met with school officials on Sunday, conducted interviews with people in the community on Monday and toured the schools on Tuesday. By the time you are reading this, the outcome will have been announced. But as I am writing, it is still under review.
District accreditation will take the local system to a higher level because it requires each school in the system to work together for the primary goal of improving educational achievement, and holds them accountable.
I had the pleasure of being in one of the groups of citizens who were interviewed, and it was nice to hear what others had to say. We were asked to give our personal opinion on our experiences of communication with the schools, how the system excels and where there is need for improvement. Several people in my group do not live in McDuffie, and their work involves them in schools of other counties as well. It was interesting to hear them compare McDuffie to those other counties, and hear how we excel. I was reminded of, and shared my experience as a reporter, having to communicate with, conduct interviews in and write about students in other counties before coming here. I can honestly say that not only do board members, administrators, teachers and students have an open-door policy, but that door is opened wide. I have worked in other counties where I was frustrated by the time-consuming restrictions of contacting people. So, I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone I have worked with in McDuffie schools for making my job easier. And don't forget to keep an eye out for next week's Mirror to read how the accreditation process went.