Leaders invited to ‘get on bus’

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NATCHEZ — Wednesday city and county officials will walk through the same halls that host future generations of Natchezians nine months of the year.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors, Natchez Board of Aldermen, Natchez Inc. employees and Natchez-Adams School Board have been invited to “Get on the Bus” for a tour of Natchez-Adams public schools.

The Miss-Lou Regionalism education subcommittee planned the event to give officials and economic development entities first-hand knowledge of the community’s educational facilities.

Email newsletter signup

“Everybody is always talking about education, but (officials) need to visually see what our facilities are,” said Debbie Hudson, the chamber of commerce president and education subcommittee member.

Education subcommittee president Teresa Busby, who is also vice president of Copiah Lincoln Community College said although she said it sounds cliché, the children of Adams County are the community’s future regardless of where they attend school.

“And we have to have a well educated, highly qualified population to attract industry (to Natchez-Adams County),” Busby said. “It’s a big circle when you think about it.”

Hudson said many of the officials have never seen some of the school buildings.

“The choices (officials) make in the future — (they) can’t make them unless (they) know what (the district) has,”

Education is of vital importance for community development and economic development, in addition to the charge of teaching of children, Hudson said.

Spending all day on a bus and touring schools also provides the education subcommittee a chance to better get to know public officials, Hudson said.

Hudson said she will also ask for feedback from officials about the facilities.

In addition to Natchez Inc. representatives, appointed school board members and elected officials, Hudson said candidates in the upcoming election for board of supervisors were also invited to “Get on the Bus.”

Similar tours of private schools and local college campuses are likely on the subcommittee’s agenda, as well, Hudson said.

The subcommittee considered the facility tours during the summer, but Hudson said the committee decided visiting schools on a normal school day would give a more accurate portrait of the facilities.

“This is an economic issue and community issue,” Hudson said.

“And we are all fact-finding by learning to do it together so that we can make plans for the future.”

The tour schedule will be as follows:

• Fallin Career and Technical Center and Natchez High School at 9 to 10 a.m.

• Morgantown Elementary School at 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.

• Boxed lunches at Frazier Primary School at noon.

• Frazier tour from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

• Susie B. West Primary School from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.

• McLaurin Elementary School from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.

The bus tour will end at the David Steckler Multipurpose Building at the high school’s campus.

Hudson said she e-mailed letters inviting the officials to the tour and called many to remind and encourage them to attend.

She said a small percentage of officials have committed to attending, but officials are welcome to sign up as late as Wednesday.

Busby said elected officials should attend because they represent the parents of the students who attend the schools.

“We need to be aware of the great things going on and also … of the challenges,” she said.