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Lanett should take pride in schools

On Wednesday, Phillip Johnson, superintendent of Lanett City Schools, took time out of his busy and relentless schedule to grant me a tour of the school system that lives so close to his heart. On this tour, it quickly became apparent that those who work within the halls of W.O. Lance Elementary School, Lanett Junior High and Lanett High care deeply about their work and their charges. It is also apparent that bright, attentive young minds are walking through these halls, eager to make their mark on the world.

The Lanett City School District, planted so far in eastern Alabama that it is one of only two school districts in the state that operate on Eastern Standard Time, was created in 1898 and is currently celebrating its 120th year. While the methodology and technology behind teaching practices has certainly changed over the years, the small gem of a school district has remained committed to the noble calling of preparing the community’s youth for the professional world since its inception.

On this tour, as Mr. Johnson led me through the well-kept corridors of the three schools, we poked our heads into classrooms to quickly listen to the lessons being taught. From the pre-k programs to the AP courses, students were engaged, well-dressed and attentive. I was struck by not only the technological capabilities of the classrooms, but by the eagerness and willingness in the eyes of the students. It was a refreshing reminder of what sound education looks like.

Mr. Johnson, an overflowing fountain of knowledge on the school system, district and surrounding area, regrettably relayed more facts to me than I can remember. He was generous enough to leave me with reading material on the school system, however.

In that material was enclosed the mission of the school system. It is simple, yet enlightening. The school system strives to “provide a supportive and rigorous educational environment that produces responsible, self-motivated students who are prepared for the future.”

This provides a quick snapshot into the school system’s primary thesis. Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for showing off your corner of the Greater Valley Area. You and the city of Lanett have much to be proud of.