Burt Harris and friend at Rugby Middle School Veterans' Day lunch, Nov. 9, 2015
Picture courtesy of Henderson County Public Schools
I can see it in my mind as clear as if it were yesterday, although it was 60 years ago. Sitting in a high school English class, listening to Mrs. Young explain how themes in literature repeat through the centuries, from the parables of the Bible to Shakespeare to modern novels, all describing the human condition. An "ah-ha" moment when the clouds part and a young student suddenly wants to know more. This was a life-changing event, and fortunately there were others like it. Looking back I recognize the debt I owe to my teachers, and I'm sure that's why I became a teacher myself. Each of us is only the latest link in a chain, and I still feel a responsibility to keep doing whatever I can to make our schools as good as they can be.
Since I retired from surgery and medical teaching I've had the luxury of time, and used some of it to coach high school golf teams. This has given me a look at our schools from the inside and a chance to get to know the current generation of students, who I respect and admire. They are more savvy and more competent than my children were at this age, and they deserve the best opportunities we can create for them. I also have gotten to know their parents who want the best for their kids, and who look to the schools as a place where dreams can come true. And I've gotten to know the teachers, whose talent and devotion deserves to be nurtured and rewarded.
As a product of public education, this is a good time for me to give something back to the system that shaped my life. Our Henderson County schools are doing an OK job but could be much better. I believe our schools could profit from some new approaches and new ideas.
Every child deserves a good education. Please read on............
"Those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future"
-- John F. Kennedy