Thomas Honaker, president of the Mercer County Board of Education issued a press release calling for the involvement of the citizens of Mercer County in the school system.
"The Board of Education has always looked to the parents and citizens of Mercer County to gain their ideas, suggestions, and support for sound educational procedures that are feasible and in the best interests of those it serves, the students of our entire school system."
According to Honaker, the school system worked like a democracy in that it depended on citizen input that was sound, practical, and relevant in order to function efficiently.
At the time, Mercer County Schools utilized the services of many groups, individuals, and organizations to support the system, such as:
* The Citizen's Advisory Committee that was composed of people from every area of the county to provide assistance to the board by compiling and presenting suggestions for incorporation into the school system.
* Textbook committees that took input from lay citizens, college professors, and even students to assure that all new textbooks used in the county were modern, relevant, non-offensive and served the needs of the students.
* PTA and PTO chapters in every school in the county to bring the ideas and suggestions from parents with children in the school system to affect change in policies.
* Open board meetings every month that allowed interested citizens to find out more about the operation of their school system. It also allowed citizens access to the agenda and be heard at the board meetings.
* Input from various industries in the area from Appalachian Power to Consolidated Coal in order to improve facilities and programs at the Mercer County Vocational and Technical Center.
Honaker emphasized that the real hero is probably the individual citizen, who may or may not be a member of the aforementioned groups, who were vocal in presenting ideas and criticisms to the board members; whether in session or on the street.
"Our sole objective is to provide the best educational system that we can for the students of Mercer county, within the limits that are place upon us by financial matters, aging building s and a widely scattered population," said Honaker
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