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A great school system is essential to this community
by By Ken Strachan Columnist
Oct 31, 2013 | 207 views | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As we approach Tuesday, when voters in Carroll County Beat Two will have the chance to vote in a special election to elect a school board member to serve on the five member board, I am reminded of how a progressive school system is essential to the community.

There are 1,500 voters registered in District Two, and there will be two precincts open: the Carrollton precinct at the Carroll County Extension Service and the Ray's Shop precinct at Teoc. During the special election there are no other races on the ballot, and only District Two voters will be eligible to vote.

A strong school system is a vital part of the community. I remember when I served as mayor of North Carrollton, one of the first inquiries a person would ask when relocating to the town, whether for launching a business or moving in as a resident, was about the school system. One needs to look no further than a former governor who made education his top priority while serving this state. Gov. William Winter brought sweeping changes to Mississippi with the Landmark Education Reform Act of 1982.

Last year, I had a conversation with former Gov. Winter about education here in this state and the collection of his writings titled The Measure of Our Days. Winter mentions how he attended a funeral of a man who had started school with him a long time ago. He explained how his former schoolmate's parents were uneducated and saw no need for the lad to continue school. Dropping out in the fourth grade was the result.

The former governor said that the intervening years of the man's life were a "long battle for survival." He explained how they stayed in touch over the years and how his former playmate always helped him when he ran for office. The Grenada County native, whose gubernatorial term was from 1980 to 1984, said that when they buried that man, "I felt a nagging pain that was not related to my friend's death but to his life. I grieved not that he had died but that he never had a chance to live." Winter has always believed that all children should be able to live up to their potential.

Just as Govenor Winter realized the importance of a school district's success to this state during his gubernatorial term decades ago, a special election for school board is an important election for the children of this county. It is important that voters of Carroll County District Two exercise their right to vote Tuesday. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ken Strachan is a former mayor of North Carrollton and serves as Carroll County coroner.

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