Archived Story

Supt. John Jarpe: A true Brandywine showcase

Published 11:03pm Wednesday, April 4, 2012

At the meeting of the Board of Education on Monday night, March 26, at Brandywine Elementary School’s Media Center, all the people there got to see a real good example of what a comprehensive public school district provides.

The Elementary Fiddle Club, under the direction of music teacher Kathy Kelly, performed two songs for the group. The violin is an extremely difficult instrument to learn, and these kids sounded so good for beginners! Not many school districts our size even offer strings as an extracurricular club, so this fine arts opportunity really shows how Brandywine helps meet the needs of all kids and takes them places they might not go otherwise. It took lots of work and practice to learn what these kids performed.

Students from grades 3-6 then presented their science projects.  They all had interesting, practical topics, and every one of them used the scientific method to explain their hypotheses and conclusions.  We all appreciated the work and knowledge displayed by these young scientists. In addition to the science they learned, the public speaking skills they had to use was a great learning experience. All the teachers in their classrooms certainly gave these kids a spark to go beyond their regular daily lessons.

The board also publicly honored the varsity girls’ basketball team.  Coach Josh Hood and most of the team were able to attend. Athletic Director Vance Stratton presented the team with its championship banner, which will be displayed in our gym. This team worked so hard for every one of their accomplishments. At one of my alma maters, there’s a saying that goes, “Those who stay will be champions.” These girls stayed with their coach’s program, and they truly are champions.

Later in the evening, I presented the collaborative plan of Lake Michigan College and Brandywine to provide machine tool classes at Brandywine’s campus.

This is an excellent partnership of a K-12 district and a higher education institution to teach skills that will prepare students for jobs that will be open now and in the near future. The joint committee from Brandywine and LMC should be commended for the work they did in setting this up.

So, there you have it — fine arts, academics, athletics and career/vocational tech: all key parts of the comprehensive education we deliver at Brandywine. You cannot find these experiences for students in cyber schools, not through home schooling, certainly not in all charter schools, and you probably won’t get all these opportunities in private schools, either.

At the end of the evening, I was so proud to be a Bobcat!

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