Students help inaugurate school
In January 2008, I assumed my duties as the principal of Rock Hill's newest elementary school, Mount Holly Elementary. For the past eight months, I have been on an incredible journey in planning and preparing for the school's opening. The past weeks have been filled with numerous activities and events that have finally brought our students and staff together as one cohesive family.
All of the work in preparing for our school has been a highlight in my career in education. The process has been filled with excitement and enthusiasm. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful individuals throughout this adventure and have been thankful for the support of the district administration as I have made decisions regarding our school.
In planning for the year, I was fortunate to have a group of parents who met several times and established subcommittees to work on particular projects for our new school. On Friday, our students and staff were able to experience a day of celebration as we began our event with our entire school family posing in front of the school for a group picture.
Following this humbling moment, our students were able to experience an enthralling day complete with seven inflatable slides, obstacle courses, games, and music. In addition, students were treated with cotton candy, hamburgers and hot dogs. It was a memorable day that I am sure will stand out in the minds of our children for years to come. This event could not have happened without the tremendous amount of work by our committee chairperson, Lori Hoffman. She worked closely with me for months in planning this event and on behalf of those 480 laughing, smiling children, I thank her for her tireless efforts in making this day a huge success.
In addition, I would like to thank all the companies who offered contributions and donations to make this event such an amazing success Thank you to all who made this day so memorable.
As I plan for the future of our school, I know that our students are going to be successful due to the efforts of our entire school family -- faculty and staff, parents, businesses and members of our community. I look forward to the future of Mount Holly Elementary School and count it an honor and privilege to serve as its first principal. You can be assured that my staff and I will do whatever it takes to see our students grow into productive citizens that our city will be proud to call "our own."
Mount Holly Elementary
What effect will windmills have?
I remember as a kid, being in science class and being taught that, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
A number of years ago, there was talk of placing propeller-type "windmills" in the sea to generate electric power from the currents but I don't hear about that anymore.
Now, T. Boone Pickens (a billionaire) wants us all get behind his proposal to develop massive numbers of these wind farms.
Does anyone think all these propeller windmills, especially in a given area, might have a collective effect on the wind, and so the weather?
Well, ol' Boone will sell a lot of equipment, and he'll be dead and so will I, before the possible effects of such are known.
Could we not make ethanol from kudzu?
Education lottery is just a scam
Budget shortfalls for schools? What happened to the South Carolina Education Lottery? Where's all that money going?
Are there people investigating the free lunch program to be sure the local school systems aren't being scammed?
Too late, the lottery has already scammed us.
Explore reasons for performance gap
I applaud Shawn Cetrone and the in-depth, balanced educational reporting he has brought to The Herald and greater York County community. Rest assured, Mr. Cetrone will pursue every angle until he is convinced the truth is revealed and will ensure the community is well-informed.
This effort continues with the story he reported in the Aug. 17 edition of The Herald about the educational performance gap. Minority students are in an educational crisis -- no, a pandemic. I applaud the local superintendents and their staffs for addressing the achievement gap that exists between caucasian and minority students.
From the numbers reported in The Herald and by the S.C. Department of Education, a majority of minority students, especially blacks, are not academically successful in the state's "best" school districts -- Clover, Fort Mill and Rock Hill.
These students are attending quality schools, yet they are not leaving with diplomas and the same education and opportunities as their cohorts.
Now, as an educator and parent, I, too, can offer several different reasons for this pandemic that span the continuum from the lack of parental participation to irrelevant curriculum and pedagogical strategies, to a few apathetic educators.
However, this problem is too complex to attribute to one entity. Though it is important to explore some of the catalysts as a way to formulate effective strategies, I hope parents, community leaders and educators will work collaboratively to develop and implement relevant solutions.
By the way, Mr. Cetrone, if you need an idea for a future story, investigate the composite high school graduation rate, then disaggregate it by gender and race. I think the public will be unpleasantly surprised.
Montrio Belton Sr.
Cell phones are distraction at checkout
I am writing in response to the letter from Ms. Hayfield. She wrote that no matter where they work, cashiers should put their cell phones down when they see a customer coming. I agree, customers come first.
On the other side, customers should show us cashiers the same respect. It is hard to give them good customer service when they are standing in front of us and talking on their cell phones. I am a cashier, and I have to deal with this all day. Give us people who work with the public just a minute to give you the services you deserve, and have a nice day!
Japanese cars don't belong in NASCAR
Enough is enough.
Back in 1941, Japan tried a takeover of the United States at Pearl Harbor.
In '45, we defeated Germany and Japan to end World War II.
Since then, we are paying for Japan's products -- appliances. all kinds of electronics and motorcycles. Now, we are ruining an all-American sport that was started by a bunch of hillbilly bootleggers and 'shine toters.
I still remember my father taking me to a dirt track up Highway 16 near Denver, N.C., in the late '40s. Buck Baker drove an '87 Hudson.
Tim Flock got it started, then got blackballed, outlawed by rule makers who made up rules as they went. This is what has become the biggest crowd pleaser of outdoor sports in the world -- NASCAR.
This season, we again forget about GM, Ford, Chrysler, American-made cars, and have gone back to paying Japan to take over an all-American sport. Think of the people that made this sport, not all these rule makers.
How about Tim Flock, Buck Baker, Lee Petty, Ralph Earnhardt, David Pearson. These men and a bunch more make the sport. Now we are paying Japan to take it over.
I've been there at the races, watched it on TV for the biggest part of my Iife. I used to enjoy the bumps and the grinds, watching men enjoy themselves ra- cing.
Now NASCAR will fine them if they break a rule. Some rules are needed. but a lot of them are stupid.
I swore to myself I would watch the race yesterday on the zigzag track but couldn't take seeing Japan win again. What would Fireball and Dale Say?
I will never watch NASCAR again.
Everyone deserves to breathe clean air
I just moved to the area all the way from Portland, Ore. This week, I felt like I was home again, with all the rain and the talk of smoke-free workplaces.
In Oregon, all workers are protected from secondhand smoke. I was delighted to hear that Rock Hill and York County were holding a forum to discuss passing a smoke-free policy. I attended and spoke in support of restricting smoking in public places. I applaud the work of Mayor Doug Echols along with the Rock Hill City Council and the York County Council.
I would like to see the city of Fort Mill join their efforts. I believe strong smoke-free workplace laws will help create a healthier community, where we live, work and play. Everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air!