Archived Story

Improving school should be top priority

Published 9:21am Monday, August 19, 2013

Dear editor:

As I read the article and saw the photo of the gazebo in Verbena (Verbena’s iconic gazebo in need of repairs), I could not suppress a feeling of anger and sadness. Not for the decline of a structure, but because of a need I feel that is much greater than preserving history.

In the last couple of years, as I look around our community and listen as people come back through the area, I see (with the exception of some new structures) and hear about the vacant, run-down houses and overgrown spots that need much attention. This community was, and could be again, a pretty village.

Many wonderful memories and stories from my siblings who graduated here in the early 1950s come to mind as I look at our school. My father-in-law who went to the old academy was the last person I knew who remembered every store, doctor’s office, barn, tree and residence, along with who lived in them. We cannot forget the hard work of the community back in the early 1920s when rock from Chestnut Creek was collected for Mr. Griffin, whose handiwork is still evident.

It is true that improvements and renovations may alter. However, these improvements may be needed to serve a better purpose. A few years back, my church, Verbena Baptist, took a lot of flack about the renovations made there. But a need to serve a growing community was met, and I believe God blessed that effort.

My purpose in writing this: I hope to bring attention to a building much more in need than the gazebo. That is Verbena High School.

While I love the look of those old rocks as much as anybody, I do think the health, safety and future of our children comes first. I would hope that, starting now, a new interest can be sparked in support of our school. Parents and teachers, please remember that we have a good school here. Children need not be transported to the next town in order to get an education.

We all know at this point in time, monies are not pouring into the public school system. Many projects have been, and will still have to be, started and completed by parents, grandparents and the community. Rally around our school! Ask what you can do! Now and in the future, let’s not ever again let improvements to Verbena High School be stunted by history buffs, politicians and those who just don’t care.

Pray for our children, faculty, new principal and all the staff. It would have been great to see enough people to circle VHS three times around at the Prayer Walk recently. But only a small group participated.

Yes, preserve the gazebo. But, help support the school in our own community. Don’t run it down. We may never see a new school here. I hope we do. Our children deserve it. If that old building is ever pushed over and another one built, we could surely buy some of those old rocks–just to remember.

Linda Mims, Verbena graduate

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