We often overlook the true value of
education. Assuming we arrive with a basically normal family, most
Americans can learn to speak, handle a cell phone and handle the buttons
on a television and some learn to read prior to attending public
school. From that point forward we Americans expect our governments to
provide a “free” appropriate public education through high school.
“Free” is misleading. While students no longer have to purchase their
own textbooks, there are numerous incidental expenses.
It is not just a matter of how much is spent on students, the
dedication and leadership of school boards, directors, faculty and staff
determine a most important part of the end result. Our nation offers
great opportunities, most of which require a good basic education. It is
not difficult nor short-term expensive to educate students and parents
to be pleased to not work or seek good employment but merely get in line
for food stamps or to choose crime or drugs as an excuse. As individual
members of our nation we must accept the responsibility to do much
better. Our best bet to help remedy this situation is to inspire our
young people through better education.
It is with these thoughts in mind we congratulate Blount County
Director of Schools Rob Britt on being one of eight directors from the
141 school districts in Tennessee to be nominated by his peers. He will
be honored Sept. 13 in Gatlinburg. At that time, the winner will be
named and represent Tennessee for the American Association of School
Administrators award. Judging is based on four criteria: communication,
community involvement, leadership for learning and professionalism.
We must not ignore Rob’s continuing dedication to education in
Blount County. He began as choral director at William Blount High where
he later served as assistant principal before being named principal at
Carpenters Middle School and then director of schools. As is often the
case, the county system lacked much of the money some city systems have.
Blount County ranked No. 60 in 2011-12 Tennessee Education Association
rankings (its most current) among then-136 systems in per-pupil
expenditures at $8,701 while the top 12 totaled more than $10,000 per
pupil to above $12,000. We see the less money per pupil as a greater
challenge for leadership.
“There is no higher honor than to be selected by your peers,” Board
Chairman Trevis Gardner said. We think Rob’s recognition speaks for
itself. He is a quiet, confident and well-qualified leader in education.
The Daily Times-Editorial