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Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Potato

Talk to anyone about their years in school and they will have many stories about teachers, classmates, tests, and athletic events. This year my grandfather, who was born in 1900, would have been 112.  As a small child I listened to him describe his experiences in school.  One story that stands out described a daily ritual through the cold winter months.  The scenario begins with how my grandfather and his friends would cook a potato at home in their old wood stoves.  The boys would then carry their potato to school and use it as a hand warmer in the cold winter weather as the snow blew across their paths.  Once at school they would put it in the wood fueled stove to keep it warm and later, they would eat it for a hot lunch. 

When my grandfather was young the schools were small and all the children were educated together in one room.  His school did not have a bus or any type of transportation.  Earlier this year, the Columbia School Board began examining the cost of maintaining our aging fleet. The cost of parts and tires were mounting and could be minimized if only our fleet was newer.  The newest bus in our old fleet was built in 2003 and one of the older busses was built in 1991.  Due to the age of the fleet, it was time to upgrade the safety aspects for our students and their drivers.  In the end, the cost of the old fleet, the parts, tires, and maintenance of our old busses was comparable to leasing a fleet of new busses.

After studying the bus situation the Columbia School District Board of Education arranged to lease new busses for two years.  This week the students who attend Columbia School District are riding on new busses!  One of the positive aspects of the new busses is that the seatbacks are taller and provide increased safety for our children.  Because the engines and transmissions are new and more reliable there is less chance of breakdowns.  In addition, the busses have digital cameras and new radios. 

As you are driving around town, keep a lookout for our new busses.  They are clean, shiny and most of all safe for their precious cargo.  If you are interested in taking a tour of one of our new busses or learning more about Columbia Schools, email me at or call me at 517.592.6641.




Friday, November 2, 2012

Renewing Our Committment to Our Students

The Columbia School District has a long and successful tradition of serving the students of this community in southern Jackson County.  Our supportive community has benefited our students by assisting us in providing a wide variety of academic choices and athletic opportunities.  Test scores in Columbia are among the highest in the county.  Our participation in the Jackson County Career Center gives our students an opportunity to leave high school with a career field and in some cases college credit.  Many of our students graduate and move on to higher education, trade schools or enter military service. 
We are proud of our students and their accomplishments both during school and as they become contributing members of our community.  The renewal of the Columbia School District operating millage is on the November 6th ballot.  While it is a small item on a very long ballot, it is important to our students and their educational opportunities.  The operating is a non-homestead millage.  It is paid by people who own vacation property or business property.  This is not a new tax, but a renewal of an item which has been passed by our community in the past.  The operating millage provides the Columbia School District with funds necessary to ensure the operation of our school district and to provide an appropriate learning environment for our children. 
The Columbia School community has always been extremely supportive of our schools and our students, staff, board and administration appreciates all of the time and effort given to benefit our children.  We are proud of the communities we serve and strive to bring excellence in education to our students.  For more about the school funding at Columbia, check out the additional info blog at