On Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, I witnessed the worst event of vandalism I've seen in my 30 years in Blount County Schools. It was a sad day for our school system, particularly the Porter community. However, the sadness didn’t last long. Porter is an extremely resilient community, and did a great job rallying from this heinous act of vandalism. The phrase “many hands make light work” was evident over the weekend, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office by our side, each step of the way.
Students returned to school on Monday, Dec. 13, 2015, a day proclaimed as Porter Strong Day. The students and faculty wore their Porter blue and gold to proudly demonstrate their “Panther Pride.” Principal Jared Smith assured students their safety was our primary concern and the intentions of those who committed the senseless acts were to steal things, not harm people, an important message they needed to hear.
I have personally been touched by the outpouring of love and support from the Blount County Community. The acts of concern shown by so many have truly been inspiring and have positively impacted us all.
Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” It is evident our community is there for others in a time of need. I will remember Dec. 11, 2015, as a time our Blount County School system was touched in magnificent ways.
On behalf of the Blount County Board of Education, Blount County Schools and Porter Elementary, I simply want to say thank you. I sincerely appreciate your support and all you do to help us provide educational excellence for all students.
Mr. Rob Britt
Director of Blount County Schools
831 Grandview Drive
Maryville, TN 37803