More challenges ahead for ECHS

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, May 11, 2005

By Staff
Our View
Just when things seemed to be looking up for the students at Escambia County High School after a tough year which featured damage from Hurricane Ivan, the unrelated deaths of four students, and a football coach resigning before coaching a single game; the close of the school year took a disappointing turn last week.
Principal Jerry Smith, who has been with ECHS since 2001, took administrative leave and will remain there for the remainder of the school year. Rumors are swirling around town of reasons for his resignations, but Escambia County Superintendent Melvin "Buck" Powell and members of the State Examiner's Office declined to comment on these topics.
While all this is going on, the football players at ECHS are trying to hold spring practice and several seniors are about to graduate. This is not the kind of send-off they deserve.
It's time for this city to get behind its school, and to give the students the support they deserve. Little will get done anywhere without people on the same page, and that is what is needed more than anything else at ECHS, now. The people of Atmore can look east (Brewton), west (Baldwin County), and south (Century/Walnut Hill, Fla.) and see the value of cities committed to their children.
While parental involvement certainly wouldn't change much of this situation, think of the many attitudes it may change over the next few years.
The students and faculty at ECHS have gone through a tremendous ordeal over the last nine months, and all of them truly deserve a principal they can be proud of; and one that can take the high school to the level it should be at now.
Many members of the Advance staff have young children, and all would like to see a high school we would be comfortable sending our children to in the near future. We hope the Escambia County Board of Education takes a serious look at the matter and does not rush in to finding a candidate for the job.

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