2005-09-28 / Letters

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

There have been several events lately that have compelled me to write this letter to the editor. In the world of education, we have heard so much about the legislative act of No Child Left Behind, which emphasizes high stakes testing and accountability. Holding administrators, teachers, students and parents accountable for students’ academic success should be taken very seriously. However, I feel that No Child Left Behind does not take into account other aspects of educating students.

Since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I have seen Jenkins County Middle School students pour out their hearts for the victims of this devastated region. Our Jr. Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes are collecting large amounts of money for the victims. It is so much money that I could barely lift the jug in order to take the first collection of money to Regions Bank to be counted and deposited. Two students told me that they emptied their penny bank at home and gave all the money that they had been saving, which was over $25. I saw several students bringing in big containers that were full of money into the office. Our Eagle committee, which is made up of teachers, sponsored a canned food drive, and many students are bringing in a great number of canned food items. It was nice to see Jenkins County High School students working hard to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well. Three high school students took the initiative to collect donations, and many other students followed their lead.

The unselfish caring, on the part of our students, through giving to the victims of Hurricane Katrina has been and continues to be overwhelming. Our students are learning valuable lessons that no standardized test can measure. Along with the many lessons learned in their academic subjects, students are learning acts of kindness, love, and compassion for their fellow man. Please keep in mind that No Child Left Behind does not address these important lessons of life. As principal of Jenkins County Middle School, I am just as proud of our students for their recent efforts, as I would be, if they all scored big on a standardized test!

Dr. Joseph Kirkland

Principal Jenkins County

Middle School

Dear Editor,

I’ve been a dedicated employee of Jenkins County for the past 12 years. I feel the commissioners have not done their job as elected officials. The board voted on a $60,000 package to be disbursed (excluding the sheriff’s department) to the county employees for salaries. The board had a salary study done by RDC that compared our county to Screven County, Jefferson County, Laurens County, etc. We are no comparison to these counties in size, population or industry.

When the schedule came back, the salaries were considerably higher thanthey had anticipated. According to Mr. Henry, he adjusted the figures to fit a $60,000 budget. Mr. Henry said in the meeting on Sept. 20 the commissioners had reviewed and voted on the disbursement of the money. At this meeting I gave each of the commissioners a copy of the salaries. It appeared as if Mr. Chance, Mr. Lane, nor Mr. Green had seen this before. They questioned the figures that were on the salary chart.

Most of the money was disbursed on large raises for a few employees. Out of about 73 employees in Jenkins County, 17 of us got $200 a year, nine part time employees got $100 and the rest was distributed unevenly in big for the rest of the employees. I was told by Mr. J.C. Douglas they had to start on the bottom so the county did not lose these employees. We have been without raises in the past and made it okay. But when it comes down to the way the raises were given this year it’s not okay. The commissioners say that we are on a grade now, no matter how much work you do. We were informed that a county office employee that goes back to college or tech school and gets a two year degree will earn $1200 per year salary increase. I was told by Mr. Henry that I needed to go back to school, get a degree, and then I would get more money. However if I went to school for years there is not a degree I could get to help me in the tax office. Our training is mandated by the state through the DOR. Things change in our office yearly. Changes are the reason the DOR mandates our training. Being in the tax/tag office for 12 years has been a challenge. I would like to say that it takes about two years to go through the complete cycle in the tax/ tag office. You learn more with hands on training than you could ever learn from a school. There are some things that a school just cannot teach you.

For the public that is interested in seeing how your tax money was distributed for salary increases, you may request in writing from the commissioners’ office. I applaud the commissioners’ attempt for trying to get the salaries up, but don’t forget the dedicated employees who have suffered through the hard times and have remained dedicated.

Sherril Jones

Return to top