She started out as a school nurse in an elementary school and about sixteen years ago she was promoted to her present position. Of course funding is always a problem and now is because the school system is five million short in making its budget resulting in decreasing personnel. Nurses are responsible for children who are diabetic, autistic, and many other disabilities.
November 9, 2017
Dr. Trayce Strichik, Director of School Preparation in the Department of Early Childhood Education, was our speaker today. With statistics and logic, she made a very good case for universal pre-kindergarten programs throughout the state. Since her program continues to grow, it has been somewhat adequately funded. Her immediate superior is on the governor's cabinet and has influence in getting funding for the program. Children who have been in pre-kindergartgen progress more quickly in school, graduate more frequently and drop out less often than those who did not attend. This leads to lower incarceration rates among that population
November 16, 2017
Board of Education member, Durden Dean spoke about the status of the education system. He told us that the State Board of Education had intervened in the school system because of the poor financial state of the system and the poor performance of its students in the state evaluation system. Mr. Dean felt that he had made some progress in talking with the county and city fathers in raising the property tax that is one of the lowest in the nation. However due to the state intervention, everything is on hold.
November 30, 2018
Security and safety in churches was the topic of Dr. Lou Harris, a retired FBI Special Agent. He emphasized that churches need a security plan with trained individuals to carry out that plan. Churches are very vulnerable to some kind of a terrorist attack or an attack from a disgruntled individual. He demonstrated the technique of disarming someone with a hand gun. Dr. Harris presents workshops in churches in the area.
January 4, 2018
First speaker of the Year was Jannah Bailey, Executive Director of Child Protect. It is an agency that advocates for abuse children. When a child has been abused, the agency interviews the child without policemen or prosecutors in the room to distract them. Court officials watch via closed circuit TV so that the child will not have to testify in front of many people which tends to intimidate them. This method also assures that everyone hears the same testimony at the same time as children are prone to changing their testimony over time.
January 11, 2018
Speaking to us a second time but in a new job was Molly Stone who is the Executive Director of the Wellness Coalition. Their job is help provide health care for those in the river region who have no insurance. Many people from other health organization are on the board which helps a great deal in carrying out their mission. The coalition has case workers who provide guidance for the clients as many of them are poor and uneducated.
Molly is married to Attorney Brandon Stone. They have two daughters both or whom go to Forest Avenue School. Brandon is with the Stone Law Group in Millbrook.