Vincent will decide response

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No matter how many times a person sees or reads about a tragedy, the ending is the same. &8220;Titanic,&8221; &8220;Romeo and Juliet,&8221; 9/11 and Katrina.

Real or fictitious, the ending is final and unchangeable. Life goes on; we deal with it. Those who deal with it positively are admired; it obviously shows with those who let it negatively consume them.

Although many feel the elimination of Vincent&8217;s year-round calendar was a tragedy of a government body killing the desire, pride and wishes of a community, the ending is the same.

It cannot be changed. How the citizens handle it will make the difference.

It initially appears Vincent is handling it well and ready to make their school known for its many positive things other than its unique calendar.

During Thursday&8217;s Shelby County School Board meeting, not one comment from nearly 150 representatives of this small community complained about the quality of Shelby County Schools.

It was a passionate and emotional evening. A civil and open debate was not only allowed, but encouraged.

Everyone representing Vincent spoke eloquently in favor of keeping the year-round calendar.

City leaders, teachers, parents, grandparents, students, a state legislative representative for Vincent and the oldest living graduate (Class of 1946) of Vincent were among those who passionately and proudly told their stories and presented facts of Vincent schools&8217; many successes.

Some talked about the concern they had when the first moved into the community and enrolled their children in Vincent schools.

Vincent supporters came armed with factual information of how well Vincent does in so many ways: instruction, academic achievement, grants, awards, athletics and other areas of school and community life.

The stories showed observers at the meeting there is much more to Vincent than some perceive.

The comments were revealing and uplifting.

What cannot be changed is the end of this community&8217;s perceived tragedy; the loss of its year-round calendar.

It&8217;s extremely doubtful any superintendent will ever recommend such a calendar to the board in Shelby County. A school board cannot initiate such actions with a superintendent&8217;s recommendation.

Some may be upset with specific people who did not support the calendar, but no one can say Vincent does not have representation on a board because it has no board members from their area or community.

The two board members who passionately spoke out and voted to keep the calendar are residents of north Shelby County.

Hopefully, this helps to dispel a common perception that the school board only supports those schools in the northern part of the county and it ignores the south and/or rural areas.

After the vote that took the wind out of Vincent&8217;s sail, there was no outburst or finger-pointing directed at anyone. There seemed to be a feeling that there were no real true villains in this story that had so many victims. The somber feeling seemed to be just concerned people on both sides that wanted the future of Vincent&8217;s children to evolve as the real heroes, and that the children would be the ultimate winners of a yet to be written story.

Steve Martin is vice president of the Shelby County School Board of Education and lives in north Shelby County. He can be reached at