It not only takes a village to raise a child, it takes one to build a road for the child's school. Monday morning, Maxwell Elementary dedicated their new road for dropping off and picking up pupils, McNeill Circle.
"I found out building roads is not me," Dr. Jim Franklin, assistant superintendent of McDuffie County Board of Education, said during the ceremony. "It takes a lot to build a road because of the many different contacts you need to have."
McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Petersen unveils the street sign on McNeill Circle during Monday morning's ceremony.
All those involved in the process of what Dr. Franklin called "the roads in bureaucracy" attended the ceremony, including Mary Dozier and Bennye Young, whose family donated the land for the road, Thomson Mayor Bob Knox, County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton, Maxwell PTO Treasurer Charlotte Derry, McDuffie County Road Superintendent Chris Pelly, and McDuffie County School Board Members Mike Love, Virginia Bradshaw and Georgia Hobbs.
"This is a wonderful day. The family is delighted," said McNeill sisters Mary Dozier and Bennye Young.
After a welcome from Dr. Mark Petersen, superintendent of McDuffie County Schools, members of the Thomson High School band played the national anthem under the direction of Jessie Morlan. Mrs. Sandra Moore's second grade class and Mrs. Joanna Davis' third grade class sang "I Like School" under the direction of Maxwell's music teacher, Robin Johnson.
Virginia Bradshaw spoke to the McNeill family on behalf of the Board of Education. "As we strive to provide the best education for our children, it is important that we have support from the community. Your generous gift enables us to provide a safe and orderly entrance to Maxwell Elementary. On behalf of all the board members, I say thank you," she said.
McDuffie County Board of Education member Georgia Hobbs presents an appreciation plaque to McNeill family members, Mary Dozier (center) and Bennye Young (right).
Members of Mrs. Davis' third grade class read aloud letters that they wrote to the McNeill family, the county commissioners, and the department of transportation.
"I want to express much appreciation from our school to not have traffic jams and be more organized," said Skylar Davis.
"We needed it so Moms and Dads can pick up their kids safely," said William Johnson.
"...also we can use it to run around...we thank you with friendliness," said Katelyn Matthews.
"...it will be confusing in the beginning, but we will get used to it," said Eric Dowler.
Alec Powers told the DOT workers, "I wish I could pay you," and Katelyn Town expressed to all, "we could not have done it without you."
After the ceremony, Maxwell principal Mychele Swain told the third graders, "You saved me from having to make a long speech. You covered it all. You are the smartest children in McDuffie County, there's no doubt about that."
In spite of Eric's prediction, Mrs. Swain said everything went well Monday afternoon when they used the new road.
"It was fantastic, everything went very well," Mrs. Swain said. "Parents did a great job of following the procedures, the faculty did a good job of following through on their part, and the students were well-behaved. I could not ask for anything more."