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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Opinion: Never forget!

Today, January 6, is considered by many Christians to be the 12th day of Christmas. Epiphany, as it is officially called by Western Christianity commemorates the visit of the three wise men / kings / magi bearing gifts to the Christ child.

Such was my thinking for the first 63 years of my life.

Many of us in Lawrence County now remember this day for other, less happy reasons. Two years ago on this very night, four “wise” members of the NLCS school board voted to close a number of schools in the outlying rural communities.

It’s not been all bad however, as once the community somewhat recovered from the sucker punch to the gut, several citizens came together with a bold vision for Lawrence County Independent Schools (LCIS) and turned that into a stunning reality this year at Fayetteville.

There was no small amount of anguish and gnashing of teeth from the “wise” members as they were required by state law to gift / convey the Fayetteville school facility to LCIS via Indian Creek Township.

That seemingly simple action required a full 70 minutes of discussion at an NLCS board meeting in April 2021.

LCIS enjoys the distinction of being one of the few charter schools ever to open at capacity with over 300 students enrolled.

Of course there will always be growing pains but that is to be expected in a start-up operation.

Gary Scherschel and the rest of the Indian Creek Township Board as well as the LCIS board, staff, and all involved are to be congratulated for their outstanding efforts to keep public education alive in the Fayetteville community.

Special mention should be made of the families and students who chose to attend LCIS and have been a key part of this success.

Now, we at Springville Community Academy are working diligently to follow their example and and our vision will restore public education as a choice in the former Springville School. I am optimistically looking forward to the third anniversary of this date next year with a mid-winter celebration as we make plans to open in August this year.

To paraphrase William Wallace in Braveheart, “They may take our schools, but they’ll never take our freedom!”.

Freedom to build a school in our community, freedom to design a better curriculum that suits our students’ needs, freedom to engage students in the civic process, freedom to honor our rural opportunities and responsibilities, freedom to provide better career opportunities for all staff, freedom to promote ethical decision making and servant leadership, freedom for families to choose that which is best for them, freedom to preserve the spirit of a small school in a small community.

If freedom is something that appeals or matters to your family, I urge you to check us out.

Albert Cross

Springville Academy

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