I love the start of a new school year, even when my face may not always show it and especially with the start of the 2016-17 school year. What I love is the excitement that our students promote. Ask the majority of students at the beginning of a new school year and overwhelmingly the majority are ready to return. They miss seeing their friends, teachers, and while they may not admit to it, they miss the structure and routine that school promotes.
The start of the 2016-17 school year, and more so where my face may not so much show excitement, is that it has been a busy summer and it is only going to continue throughout the first semester. The VCSC has embarked upon several projects this summer. Taking a simple drive through Vincennes, you will see a lot of these projects in action.
These are some of the most exciting times in recent years for the VCSC and I am simply happy to be a part of what is transpiring. Since coming into this position, I have long prided myself when it comes to our facilities. With this stated, we simply have for a long time been trying to maintain as best as we can with what we have and to make it last. We have gotten a long time out of most of our facilities. When you take pride in the institution you also promote pride in the facilities. However, we have gotten about as much as we possibly can get out of many of our facilities and have embarked upon projects all throughout the VCSC.
Projects include the complete remodel of our four elementary schools. This will be a long process and one which will likely take us into the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year. For our elementary staff, students and parents it will be that of brand new facilities using the integrity and historical importance and significance of our present neighborhood schools.
Within our high school some major remodel and revisions has also occurred and this includes new carpeting and flooring in high traffic areas, new lockers, the complete rebuild of our tennis courts, exterior lighting and all new weight room equipment. Within this, some additional items are also occurring and this includes new furniture, including furniture that promotes the needs of students in the 21st century that maximizes technology.
We also have some additional items that will likely occur into the fall of 2016 and this includes new lighting and sound for Inman Field. This project will likely not occur until the end of the football/band season.
All of the remodel and rebuild promotes additional enthusiasm and excitement. While headaches have occurred, and will continue, and with this temporary inconveniences will come about; the end product will be well worth it and more so the enthusiasm and excitement will be realized not only for me, but more importantly for our staff and students.
I cannot think of a better time, especially of recent, to be a part of the VCSC with so many good and great things that are presently occurring.
I also must issue some thank you’s and this being to our many support staff employees that give of their time throughout the summer. This includes our custodians, maintenance and grounds personnel, who are technically employees of the Sodexo family but we consider them ours. They have had to do so much in such short time that ranges from moving an entire building, to cleaning up around construction, to dealing with a demanding superintendent. Simply put, they are some of our greatest people and they, much like me, take great pride in the facilities of the VCSC. A specific thank you to our operations director, Mr. Rudy Loewen and also Mr. Jerry Booe who oversees maintenance. I also thank our Sodexo Food Service people, as while school has been out for a couple of months, they continued to serve warm meals to students this summer. I thank Sodexo and I thank our folks who worked to make this happen. Our technology team also deserves accolades under the leadership of Mr. Dustin Jones. They too, like our Sodexo folks have been busy throughout the summer and this includes preparing buildings and technology for the start of a new school year.
In the end, I often reference that it takes a lot of phenomenal people to make me look good. Quite frankly it takes an army. This includes our bus drivers who are often the first and last to see a student as related to the school system, to that nurse that takes care of those playground or PE accidents to our instructional assistants who often work one-on one with a student, to our secretaries who help get a student or parents from point A to B, to our teachers who go above and beyond each and every day, often shortchanging their own families, to take care of the needs of students, and also to our administrators, who much like our facilities folks, that have to work with the demands of a superintendent who does not like to hear “no” and with this, is asking of them constantly to give more and more. Bottom line is that all of these folks, and many more, comprise that army and I am thankful to have each and every person that is a part of the VCSC.
In the end, collectively this entire group has one of, if not the most, important responsibilities and that is taking care of and protecting kids and with this, educating the young people of today who will be doing all of these different jobs, including that of mine, for our future.
I hope you enjoy our 2016-2017 action-filled school year.
Go Big Green!
Mr. Greg Parsley
Vincennes Community School Corporation