I frequently have the opportunity to travel around the state into different school districts and their high schools and I often receive comments from those principals praising the exemplary status of the Bryan County Schools.
Recently, one curious principal was humble enough to ask me, "What makes your school so special? Is it the staff, the teachers, the students?"
I told her it was all of those things and one thing she had left out - it is the people of Bryan County that make our school a great school.
Each of those ingredients, when in balance, combines to create an educational climate conducive to high expectations for superior student achievement.
The most rewarding part of my work as a high school principal is to see students reach success and goals on a daily basis. Whether it is a senior receiving a scholarship, an appointment to a military academy or reveling in the fact that graduation is just around the corner or a freshman struggling with the awesome transition into high school, success is a daily function at Richmond Hill High School.
I am proud of our students as they strive to succeed in the classroom and find success in sports, band, chorus, cheerleading, JROTC, or in school plays.
Furthermore, it is gratifying to work where students display such good character and work hard to make to make the right choices.
Our school system is blessed with a staff of professional educators who endeavor to meet the challenges of No Child Left Behind, implement the Georgia Performance Standards, and meet the daily paperwork and accountability requirements of educating young people in the 21st Century.
They expect their colleagues to go beyond the basic expectations of instruction and use strategies research has shown to enhance student achievement. Weak links can not hide in this environment.
Successful day-to-day operations of a great system depend in large part to the committed, hard-working classified personnel who collect, sort, file, count, report, balance, copy, and edit extremely sensitive and confidential information accurately and on time.
When I was hired into this system, I realized early that the school district was the gleam in the eye of the community.
The Bryan County Board of Education members represent their constituent base with pride in its schools and full knowledge that their decisions must be based upon sound fiscal, legal, and pedagogical practices that will improve children’s lives.
The Board of Education and the Superintendent have seen to it that the schools are on the leading edge in technology.
They provide electronic communication methods so that parents, students, and teachers can remain informed about school matters, and that principals are provided the resources to improve instruction.
So, as I told my colleague, it is the people of the district. It is the staff, students, and community that make our schools a little better each day.
I’m proud to play a small part in that process. I challenge each of you to take a close look at the positive elements of the school district and work cooperatively to improve the negatives, and you will see the things that I see that make the Bryan County System a great place to educate your children.
Richmond Hill High School
Principal Charles Spann