Those voters who recall my 10 years on Macon’s City Council know that I don’t hesitate to point out public shortcomings. By the same token, I am compelled to praise those who go out of their way to serve our citizens.
I recently contacted school board member Lester Miller about enrolling in local schools in his district the children of international students who have recently enrolled at Central Georgia Technical College. Within minutes I received a kind email from Jennifer Askew, the principal at Heritage Elementary, offering a meeting with her staff, including her English-as-a-foreign-language professional. When she learned that a couple of the students are old enough to attend Weaver Middle School, she offered to have their principal, Jim Montgomery, attend as well.
What could have been a bewildering introduction to our public schools was instead a very positive and supportive experience for these foreign students and their children who had very recently arrived in our country. Principal Askew, Principal Montgomery and their staffs are to be commended for their compassion and dedication. Great things are happening in our public schools and our new superintendent, Dr. Curtis Jones Jr., is to be congratulated for his leadership.
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— Rick Hutto
Future, not past
I’m not originally from Macon, I’m a Yankee who has come to love the South and, since 2008, to love Macon. Our family chose Macon — Macon did not choose us. It has been stated to me more than once that locals have “a true” perspective of their home that transplants cannot possibly comprehend. There may be some validity to these comments. However, transplants often bring a fresh set of eyes and perspective and this is mine:
Macon should be a place of destination and permanence for families. She has a meaningful history, both glorious and painful. She has multiculturalism, something that reputable corporations seek out and embrace. There is a reach by higher education that very few towns of this size can come close to matching. She has a geographic position and natural resources that towns across this country would stake claims to in a heartbeat if they could.
Solid planning should look to the future, be long term, and should learn from the past. A national spiritual leader once said, “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” Don’t forget the past, but don’t let the past create a barrier to the future and the Macon we wish for future generations.
It is by looking forward and embracing the uniqueness of this place and her people that Macon is on the cusp of real change and achieving her true potential, but we all have to be pulling together.
— Guy Boyle