Thursday, March 24, 2016

Superintendent Outlines School System

*This article, published in the Marshall News Messenger on Oct. 16, 1970, was written by Mr. Truitt Ingram, Superintendent of Schools for Marshall Public Schools. Mr. Ingram served as Superintendent of Marshall schools from 1969-1984. His 15 years make him the longest-tenured Superintendent in the history of Marshall ISD.

Schools are important for many reasons, not among the least of which is the fact that our schools share with the home and the church the responsibility of improving the standards of living in our community. In order to meet this responsibility, the schools must continue to maintain a strong program of vocational, civic, social and moral guidance. At the same time, we must seek to preserve the rich cultural and historical heritage of the past while building citizens who are equipped to serve their communities capably in the future. We recognize these responsibilities, and we realize that the continued support of the citizens of Marshall is a must if we are to continue to reach these goals. We recognize also that these school-community relations must be a two-way process. The flow of ideas, energy, creativity and leadership must be in both directions at all times.

What is your role as a citizen of Marshall in strengthening our schools? First of all, we need your active interest in all phases of our school program. Let your youngster know of this interest, and let the school personnel know of it. Your child’s teacher and his principal have selected teaching as a life’s work. They are vitally interested in our schools, and they want them to be of the very highest quality. The interest and concern which you show helps to make them that way. Be sure that this interest does not end with you. Encourage your friends and neighbors to share you concern for the welfare of our youth - our most valuable asset.

A second step which you as a citizen can take in strengthening our schools is to obtain a fair and a complete understanding of our school program. If there is something which you do not understand, talk with some qualified representative of the school about it. Your apprehension concerning some area may be the result of not fully understanding the situation, or you may be able to offer valuable suggestions to us. We ask that you be interested in the school program, that you understand the school program, and that you actively support it. First of all, our schools must be supported financially. We have to ask for more of the taxpayer’s money than ever before, but consider how costs have risen in every field in the past few years. Books, desks, chalk, light bulbs, the cost of administering a school program, the cost of new buildings and repairs for old ones -- all of these have contributed to this increase in cost. Yet let us realize that while good schools do cost, poor schools cost much more and their price is one of which none of us would be willing to pay. A famous Texan, Mirabeau B. Lamar, once said that “...the cultivated mind is the guardian genius of a democracy.” Should we ignore this truth and allow our schools to fall below par because of an over-concern for dollars and cents, the price which we might be called upon to pay could be our freedom or that of our children.

In return for footing the bill for this increased cost in education, our youngsters have an opportunity to receive education and training superior to any ever offered in America. The education which they receive is and must continue to be one which will prepare them for the complexities of the world in which we live.

You may strengthen our schools not only by supporting their financial needs, but also by being an active participant in such organizations as the Parent-Teacher Association. By doing so, parents and teachers may work together toward the common goal of providing the very best education possible for every child in Marshall. The PTA offers you an opportunity to know your child’s teachers, to become familiar with his school program, and to work with other interested citizens for community betterment.

Visit our schools often, both in the classrooms and for special programs. We have two special weeks, American Education Week in November and Public Schools Week in March, set aside for visitation in the schools. However, you need not limit your visits to these times. You will be welcome at any time, and such a visit will do much more than any second-hand information to help you really understand what we are trying to do.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Birth Of MISD: Schools' Separation Approved, 694-123

*This article, published in the Marshall News Messenger on Dec. 14, 1966, details the community vote which approved the severing of Marshall Public Schools from municipal control to create the Marshall Independent School District.

A light but decisive vote Tuesday passed on a special referendum to approve the severing of the Marshall School District from municipal control by a plurality of almost 7-1.

Complete but unofficial returns from a total of 15 voting wards saw the proposal passing by a margin of 694-123. The total of 817 votes cast in balloting showed a meager 7.3 percent turnout from an estimated 11,250 eligible voters. The vote was in keeping with pre-election predictions by observers who had said the total would be less than 1,000.

The vote was in sharp contrast to that of almost six years ago, when residents of the school district turned back a 1961 proposal for separation by 1,713 to 833. However, at the time, school board and city commission members were opposed to the move.

Tuesday’s proposal had been strongly endorsed by the two agencies. The referendum was scheduled when the school board and the city commission met in joint session in late November and agreed unanimously on the separation and initiated the circulation of petitions in the school district for an election date.

Action by the voters leaves only one other school of the 1,348 districts in the state, Bryan, under the municipal control policy of operation.