The Daily Times-Editorial
We often overlook the true value of education. Assuming we arrive with a basically normal family, most Americans can learn to speak, handle a cell phone and handle the buttons on a television and some learn to read prior to attending public school. From that point forward we Americans expect our governments to provide a “free” appropriate public education through high school. “Free” is misleading. While students no longer have to purchase their own textbooks, there are numerous incidental expenses.
It is not just a matter of how much is spent on students, the dedication and leadership of school boards, directors, faculty and staff determine a most important part of the end result. Our nation offers great opportunities, most of which require a good basic education. It is not difficult nor short-term expensive to educate students and parents to be pleased to not work or seek good employment but merely get in line for food stamps or to choose crime or drugs as an excuse. As individual members of our nation we must accept the responsibility to do much better. Our best bet to help remedy this situation is to inspire our young people through better education.
It is with these thoughts in mind we congratulate Blount County Director of Schools Rob Britt on being one of eight directors from the 141 school districts in Tennessee to be nominated by his peers. He will be honored Sept. 13 in Gatlinburg. At that time, the winner will be named and represent Tennessee for the American Association of School Administrators award. Judging is based on four criteria: communication, community involvement, leadership for learning and professionalism.
We must not ignore Rob’s continuing dedication to education in Blount County. He began as choral director at William Blount High where he later served as assistant principal before being named principal at Carpenters Middle School and then director of schools. As is often the case, the county system lacked much of the money some city systems have. Blount County ranked No. 60 in 2011-12 Tennessee Education Association rankings (its most current) among then-136 systems in per-pupil expenditures at $8,701 while the top 12 totaled more than $10,000 per pupil to above $12,000. We see the less money per pupil as a greater challenge for leadership.
“There is no higher honor than to be selected by your peers,” Board Chairman Trevis Gardner said. We think Rob’s recognition speaks for itself. He is a quiet, confident and well-qualified leader in education.