EDITORIAL: Three cheers in support of education

on Monday, 20 October 2014. Posted in News

Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014 5:15 am

Morning News

Another gala by The School Foundation has come and gone, and what an event it was Tuesday at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology center.

Three cheers for an event that is supported well by businesses and individuals in Florence, which speaks well for the community. A large ballroom was filled by citizens who help the foundation fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in education in public schools in Florence School District 1.

The first cheer: Each year, The School Foundation has recognized a distinguished graduate of FSD1 schools, and it has had some worthy recipients over the years. This year’s recipient – William Hubbard – was an outstanding choice. The McClenaghan High School graduate went to the University of South Carolina, where he ultimately graduated from law school. In August, he became the first lawyer from South Carolina to be named the president of the American Bar Association. How impressive is that?

Hubbard is the son of a Florence school teacher, and he delivered an exceptional speech about the importance of education.  “Education is a battle, but it’s a battle that we must win,” he said. “At stake is our future.”  Hubbard spoke about the important role that teachers play in society.  “It’s our duty to support you,” he said.  He expressed concern about the direction our nation is going, saying a “vaccuum of knowledge” threatens us.

Hubbard issued a challenge.  “Be champions for teaching,” he said. “For freedom to ring, our school bells must ring, loudly and clearly.”  On the podium was a symbol: a bell that his mother was presented in 1980 after teaching 21 years at a FSD1 school.

The second cheer: The School Foundation also recognized the teacher of the year from each of 22 FSD1 schools. Four were chosen as an “Honor Roll” teacher: Lindsey Bibler at South Florence High, Jessica Crowson at Lester Elementary, Marianne Gaskins at North Vista Elementary and Kendall Scott at Savannah Grove Elementary. Bibler, who teaches calculus and pre-calculus, then was announced as the FSD1 Teacher of the Year. She will be the district’s candidate in South Carolina Teacher of the Year award consideration next year. Congratulations to all, and to Bibler in particular.

The third cheer: Let’s hear it for The School Foundation itself. The event Tuesday is one of two major fundrasiers that it holds each year. The other one is Dancing with the Stars of Florence County, which is held in the spring.

Counting money that has been raised this year, the foundation has raised more than $1 million that goes toward grants to fund programs and projects that support and contribute to FSD1’s teachers and students. The foundation’s baby is Start SMART, a program that is aimed at babies. It assists parents in preparing their children for kindergarten.

There were many standing ovations Tuesday night, and deservedly so. Hubbard, the teachers of the year and The School Foundation itself can all take a bow for the good work that they have done and will continue to do.