• Bill Raines

Editorial: The Full Court Press of Plan Three of the Visionary Committee and Board

LAWRENCE COUNTY - JULY 27, 2022 - There is a full court press to bring the North Lawrence Community School into plan three.


Back in August of 2018 there were a total of 18 school board candidates to file for North Lawrence Community School Board.


North Lawrence Community School Board President Trent Todd in his 2018 campaign wanted things to return when Damon Bailey was a basketball star



In running for the North Lawrence Community School board Trent Todd told those in the Schafer Auditorium he longed for the days of " Damon Bailey" when the whole community came to support the school team. He did not see that kind of support in a long time.


The new Heltonville Elementary School has bee repurposed into a Drug Rehabilitation Center with a new assesses value of $2.9 Million that is currently being appealed by Jerry Ford owner of Transitions.


Well, those days are now long past, and never will be again at the hands of a school board president who had a different game involved.


This school board led the charge to dismantle all those small schools to which a Damon Bailey came from, the small little Heltonville school that helped shaped the life of Damon Bailey. The days of small elementary schools, middle schools, and smaller high schools have ended.


The school board led the charge to not to renew the contract of Supt. Dr. Gary Connor and his temporary replacement of Dr. Ty. Mungle who was hired to run the North Lawrence Community School Corporation.



Dr. Ty Mungle led the charge to use a closed public group named the " Visionary Committee" to close the all the rural elementary schools and consolidate both middle schools into one. The Visionary Committee had a real vision to move all the schools into the City of Bedford.


After 30 people, met behind the closed doors of the Shawna Girgis Education Building in Bedford three plans evolved from this group of pre-selected members from the Superintendent of Schools despite more people who wished to be part of this select group.


They are several supporters of the Visionary Committee including Bill Spreen who supported closing Fayetteville School in 1997


The three plans really were only one plan after all, despite a public who was vehemently opposed.


Plan 3- Reduce the district to three larger K-6 elementary schools. Parkview Primary/Intermediate, Shawswick, Consolidate one middle school seventh and eighth graders at Bedford, Shawswick and Oolitic Middle Schools into one middle school into Bedford Middle School.


In the end the school board that can now put the final touches on the game plan that was originally considered by the NLCS Board and Visionary Committe. In the end they won the game.


Lawrence County Independent Schools is now operating in Fayetteville providing an education to the rural community. NLCS chose to close this school in 2020. The hard work of team of dedicated individuals the school is still providing education opportunities


However, they also championed the cause for Independent Education, home schooling and other alternatives from a small group of people who left the rural communities without a local school.


The Springville Community Academy will be opening this school year. The Perry Township community has always believed in an education. Perry Township Trustees from Roy Thompson to Robert Phillips always supported a school being in their community which provides an economic benefit of remaining in Springville.


The next thing for the rural communities to do is build an alternative high school on the west side of Lawrence County. This new high school will be more feasible to the transpiration needs of the communities abandoned by the North Lawrence Community Schools.


The same county residents that resurrected two charter schools can now work to provide a high school education to Lawrence County.


This will provide better economic opportunity to the residents of western Lawrence County, which can build a better and stronger community.



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