Back-to-school in Jackson

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In the city of Jackson, when the Homecomers week of celebration is over, we all get in the back-to-school mode. I hope the weather cooperates and gives us some nice crisp fall weather. As an old teacher, I always get excited about the start of school. It was always fun meeting new students and getting to visit again with co-workers you haven't seen for a few months.

I had the pleasure of welcoming 32 new teachers to the Jackson School District this morning. They seem to get younger every year -- or is it just that I'm getting older?

I am proud that all three of my children are teachers, and I have many former students who are teachers. This year the daughter of a former student is teaching at the middle school and will be mentored by my niece, Julie Lohr. Daughter Kathy Jansen is still enjoying her literacy aide position at Orchard Elementary. Many other teacher/parents are also seeing their children enter the profession. This kind of continuity serves our school system well.

If you notice the large area being cleared on Lacey Street, that is the site preparation for the new elementary school. Speaking of elementary schools, remember that traffic will be picking up around the schools in the early morning and afternoon about 2:30 p.m. Please drive more carefully as many of these elementary children get excited and don't watch for cars as well as they should.

The start of school also means fall sports begin. Tryouts and practices have begun in all the area high schools for seven sports: football, softball, boys and girls cross country, boys soccer, boys swimming, tennis and volleyball. Everybody in Jackson probably has an interest in several of these teams through children, grandchildren or close friends.

Everyone should spend some time watching and supporting our high school sports teams. When my children were involved in high school team sports, I always said I'd be a wealthy person if I had 50 cents for every hour I spent watching them participate. Nobody ever gave me the 50 cents per hour, but I am certainly wealthier -- though in a different way -- for having watched my children and their friends participate in various sports programs.

By the way, you don't have to have a child or a grandchild playing to attend the events. Just be there to support the youth of your community. You can also get involved with all the youth sports programs available for our elementary-age children.

If you're not into sports, there are many other ways to get involved -- scouts, 4-H, and many in-school programs. We can be especially grateful for all the volunteers who give hours of time to help with the programs for our young children. Be sure to let them know you appreciate what they are doing.

Today is Election Day! If you haven't already voted, take advantage of this precious right. Go vote!

Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.

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