Thursday, December 23, 2010
Blanchester is in the news and it is a good thing.
Forty years ago I applied for a job at Blanchester Local Schools for the postion of teacher of vocational agriculture.
I was only in VoAg one year and barely knew what it was, let alone teach in a place I had never heard of.
Work started the first week of August, 1971 at the Clinton County Fair. I didn't have much to work with. The program was down to 29 students and few students had a project at the fair. It was hot and so was my new supevisor.
He cursed me up one side and down the other and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I found out later his son had applied for the same position and the board chose me over him.
I remember I signed the contract for $5,000, paid once monthly and thought I was the richest guy in town. You could still buy a lot for a dollar in 1971.
Forty years later I live on a farm overlooking Blanchester 8 miles away and on a clear day you can see the traffic light in front of Krogers right beside the school.
Much has transpired inbetween. The community believed in me and helped me build a top notch program. Enrollment quickly went from 29 to nearly 100 students each year. I was elected to school board in 94. By 04 we had completed a 30 million dollar construction and renovation project which really put Blanchester Schools on the map.
The town and teachers really came together and they were recognized as a sohool of distinction. Imagine that! When I started there it looked like more a candidate as a school of extinction and now the neighor to the west, Little Miami actually may be taken over by the state. They can't pass a bond levy or any sort of way of increasing school funding.
Blanchester answered the call for me. In 83 the state told my board we needed more facilities for agricultural education or they would shut out program down. I think it was just a ploy but the board responded and built a new shop shown on the picture in the link. We built that second deck by hand and the two men are standing on the shop floor. Now they use that shop for maintenance as we built a whole new facility while I was on the board of education.
The president of the board in the other picture was one of my star students. I cohersed him and couple of other good students to run for the board. My they have done a great job.
Congratulations to every citizen in Blanchester. The two main stories on the front page of the News Journal is just a little recognition of your hard work and dedication.
You did good!