The mountain was ablaze with passionate words and emotions on Thursday evening, January 29, as a community rose up in fervent support of its heart and soul—a little school by the name of Coker Creek Elementary School.
“I think everyone here has an interest in Coker Creek School,” said Melissa Wiseman, President of the PTO.
And, indeed, the community meeting drew the attention of a swelled crowd. Alumni and current students, teachers and parents, young and old alike traveled to the 6 p.m. gathering. Monroe County school board members, including Director of Schools Tim Blankenship, also attended the meeting, as did Monroe County Mayor Tim Yates. The bleachers and chairs filled up, and people were still strolling in long after the sixth hour had tolled.
The meeting addressed the rumors swirling about the county, revolving around the possible closing of Coker Creek School.
It addressed budget cuts the school might see as well, from the Chargers having a teaching principal to the possible loss of the arts and a full-time librarian. The double-bladed issue of transfers also reared its head, as did salaries and disgruntlement over the Chargers’ gymnasium.
Several guest speakers, ranging from a concerned parent to a pair of current students, took to the floor in support of Coker Creek Elementary School. They pointed out its growth, its welcoming and life-changing environment, its Rank 4 title. A Q&A session followed the speakers, allowing community members to make comments of their own and pose questions.
All together, they focused on one thing: keeping the students first. “Help us grow,” said Wiseman to the board members. “Help us keep our school going […] Our school is too important [… ] [The students] want this school […] That is my plea… Keep us striving.”
My full story on the “Save Our School” meeting will be featured in the Monday issue of the BUZZ.