BILLY MCCORD: As I see it
Greetings to the best readers anywhere! Thanks for the input you provide me. I hope all of you enjoyed the Fourth of July Holidays.
Ann and I spent our time in the town of Bruce that we call home. The Town Square was filled for Throwback Thursday. There appeared to be a good crowd present with an assortment of fresh vegetables for sale. There also were games for children. Then July 4th came and then in style of early America there was a parade. We enjoyed listening to the band and the best Firework Display I have seen in a long time. I am proud of the activities planned for the town and I appreciate those who work to make it possible.
My nephew who answers by the name of Gary, lives in the north part of the state and works for a chemical firm, made a delivery recently to Southaven High School and while walking in the hall he got quite a surprise. He called his mother, my sister, and said, “Momma, I saw Uncle Billy’s picture today in the hall at Southaven High School.” Now that was not a surprise since I knew it was there. A former student told me at one time, “I went into Southaven High School and suddenly felt someone looking at me. I looked up and there you were on the wall glaring at me.” I told him, “Since I had to glare at you in High School I suppose I thought you needed glaring at now.”
The second thing Gary told his mother was that I already had grey hair. I do not know what picture they chose to hang on the wall but when Southaven High School came to be I should not have had grey hair. Once I spent a year as school principal I certainly might have had grey hair. I would guess the picture was taken when I moved from the high school to a position of Assistant County Superintendent that I maintained until I retired.
Southaven High School was scheduled to open in September of 1991. However, Southaven had never had a school and they were more than ready to claim their school. The Superintendent and Board decided to open the school in April 1970. The seniors would graduate at Horn Lake High School. The closer April came the more rumbling I heard about the seniors who lived in Southaven be allowed to graduate at Southaven. The day came in the form of a telephone call from the Superintendent telling me that seniors residing in Southaven would be allowed to graduate at Southaven.
Remember that school had never had a Principal, teacher or student inside its doors. We went to work. The seniors who had gone to school at Horn Lake their whole school experience now had a choice to graduate at Horn Lake or Southaven if they lived in Southaven. I and the staff went to work to adopt a Mascot and to arrange for diplomas with Southaven on them, caps and gowns and Pictures. Now, Gary that is what turned my hair grey.
I do not know how, but the graduation went off great, and the building held all the students it was designed to do.
In September we were overflowing with students. We had to organize a “Border Patrol” to keep students residing in Memphis from enrolling in Southaven. This remained a problem as long as I was employed by DeSoto County Schools. As I have said many times I enjoyed my years in education. If I had to I would gladly do it again, if I were not too old and my hair too grey.
Thanks for reading this week.
Billy McCord is a retired school administrator of DeSoto County Schools. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He is a member of and President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , or email@example.com
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