Looking Up: A sense of optimism at school 2013.08.07

An audience member was the first to mention the change, then a school board member remarked on the difference following the meeting Monday night.

The atmosphere inside the room was different than in the past. For the first time in a long time, Morenci’s school situation didn’t seem all gloom and doom. There was hope and optimism and anticipation of a new school year starting.

A new administration hasn’t magically erased all the district’s troubles. There are still serious financial issues, there’s the matter of the bond project gone awry, there are teacher contracts to settle and maintenance issues to address.

But all of those issues seem more manageable now with new people taking new approaches and working together to find solutions.

The district has a very experienced superintendent who made it clear from the start that there’s work to do and he wants to get right at it. That’s just what he’s done. He’s collected ideas and opinions from others and worked with his staff to make changes.

Many district residents and staff members made it known that they favored hiring principals who were familiar with the district and they got their wish this time around. Many people expressed a desire to have retired principal Kay Johnson back on staff and that’s happened, too.

There are plenty of reasons to feel good about the new school year and about the school district as a whole. We’ve been down for a while, but it feels as though we’re rising up and stepping back into place.