News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Put aside politics in school search

Now that all the candidates have been interviewed for the position for superintendent for Hartselle school system, I would like to appeal to all the board members' common sense. When selecting a replacement for Dr. Hartsell, which personal guidelines will you follow?

Will you use friendship as a deciding factor? Will you worry that maybe you might upset someone in the community with a particular vote? (Sometimes, you have to upset someone to help others, such as the children.) Will you vote for a fresh start in our leadership? Will you vote for the absolutely most qualified candidate? Will you vote for someone who has had proven experience in leadership, management and great "people person" skills, along with supervisory experience?

This vote that you cast will be one of the most important votes, possibly, in your entire school board experience. It will decide who will be superintendent of thousands of children, hundreds of teachers, and one of the overseers of millions of dollars. Forget what everyone is possibly whispering in your ears. Put all the partisan politics aside and vote for the best qualified candidate with the most experience. There should never be any partisan politics when it comes to the education of our children.

Mike Dowdy


Reader wants Walters selected

Hartselle City Schools will soon make a dramatic step when the next superintendent is chosen. The emphasis on academics we currently have needs to continue with the next superintendent if we are to maintain our great schools.

Joe Walters came to Hartselle with the present superintendent, but he has had to prove himself in every capacity in which he has served — which he has done very well. As an educator who has chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, I recognize the improvements he has made in the students' safety, and the benefits they will have through the new programs he has implemented, such as Alabama Mast and Science Technology Initiative and Alabama Reading Initiative. He strives to make Crestline a child-centered environment.

THE DECATUR DAILY stated that the board members wanted a superintendent with enthusiasm. Have you seen Dr. Walters in action and heard his morning announcements? Have you seen his delightful antics in the annual Teacher Revue at the Crestline Carnival? He makes sure that Crestline is a fun place for everyone!

Mr. Walters does not consider Hartselle just a stepping stone to other future jobs. He wants to be here and to make a difference here for our schools.

Parents and community members need to speak up loudly and continuously to the school board members until they realize that the most qualified and best person for superintendent of Hartselle City Schools is already here in Hartselle and his name is Dr. Joe Walters! Time is short because the board hopes to make a decision by next board meeting Thursday. Call them today and tell them that he is the most qualified and dedicated man for the job.

We all have a lot to lose if they mess this up!

Laura Russell


Limestone has wasted funds

The renewal of the school tax in Limestone County is in jeopardy. There is a very real possibility that it will be voted down on Feb. 15. If that happens, the blame is squarely on the politicians now in office. They have approved outrageous salaries and benefits for a few, that the rest of us can only dream of getting, and wasted money that would have really benefited the school system.

This tells me that the politicians have too much of the taxpayers' money. It also tells me that if the politicians do not come down to earth with the rest of us, the voters will likely do it for them and sooner than they think.

C.C. Kerr


Seniors chose not to compete

In response to reporter Bayne Hughes' article on Jan. 20, "Austin High preparing to cheer," I take great offense to the implication that the cheerleading squad is "seniorless." I would like to clarify that the AHS cheerleaders are, in fact, led by five seniors, all of whom have cheered since middle school.

The seniors chose not to be on the competition team, of which they have been members for the past three years. They have also represented Austin at every football, basketball, and as of the 2004 season, the volleyball games, as well. They are exceptional cheerleaders in every respect. Each was chosen a Universal Cheerleading Association All-Star and received applications to try out for the UCA staff, which is an honor that is earned. As has been implied this year, both verbally and in print, Whitney Laughmiller, Lauren Reist, Amber Wright, Mareca Watson and Timika Wallace are not losers or quitters.

These girls are well-respected leaders among their peers, who do not determine their value on whether or not they cheer on a competition team. I personally am extremely proud of the AHS squad and all they have worked so hard to achieve. On behalf of all the seniors and parents, we wish the team our best in Orlando.

Let's put this miniscule event of our lives in the perspective in which it belongs. Teach your children to love and respect one another, to not be petty, and above all, to be God-fearing Christian leaders who are our future.

Donna Laughmiller


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