There’s more to schools than education

Published 10:51 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

There is much more to running a school system than making sure the students get their books and going to sporting events.

With proration and a down economy, system superintendents have to be part accountant, part miracle worker to figure out how to get their budgets to balance. That is tough enough, but this week was another example of what goes with the superintendent’s job.

On Thursday, all reports indicated that a severe storm system bringing the possibility of large hail and the threat of tornadoes would blow through our county. School superintendents reacted quickly, letting students throughout Marengo County go home early in preparation for the oncoming storm.

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The fact that the storm turned out to be less than the threat indicated is moot. Weather — especially severe weather — is unpredictable, and superintendents responded in preparation of the worst possible scenario, to ensure that students would not be in harm’s way when the storm passed through.

The next day, Friday, a superintendent was again put to the test when a bomb threat was reported by A.L. Johnson High School in Thomaston. The test was the second in two months for a Marengo County Schools facility, and superintendent Luke Hallmark responded admirably both times. Students were immediately evacuated and kept away from the school while sheriff’s officials cased the building. Hallmark said that the school’s protocol would be followed for the safety of the students “whether it is a hoax or not.”

Superintendents have to assume a threat is genuine, regardless of whether they believe it is not. School superintendents were put to the test this week, and they responded with flying colors.