A celebration of youthful enthusiasm took place at Laurens District High School Thursday night.
Officially, it was the State of the Schools Gala and Exposition, but the chief exposition was of the unique take the next generation has on the world into which they will soon advance.
Where else could the teachings of Gandhi have been used to expose the need to eliminate litter?
The first hour, in the LDHS central cafeteria, consisted of mingling, stacking flimsy plates with finger food, sipping pineapple punch, listening to classical music and participating in silent auctions to raise money for District 55 extracurricular activities of various kinds.
Then it was off to the lecture auditorium for the aforementioned youthful enthusiasm to commence.
Fifth grader Eryn White could have been one of Jimmy Stewart’s Boy Rangers in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington delivering his award-winning entry in the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. White, delivering his tribute in front of a crowd, fumbled his lines occasionally, at which point he muttered – huhgguuhh – took a short breath and continued along his way. It was endearing, more so than if he had been perfect in his elocution.
Bryant Kirk-White, the District Student Activities Director, was master of ceremonies. In addition to Eryn White’s tribute to MLK, three students – fifth grader Aubrey Armstrong of Hickory Tavern School, eighth grader Lane McCracken of Laurens Middle School and LDHS senior Devon Hubner – delivered their Superintendent’s Essay winning entries.
“Synergy” was the theme of the featured video, narrated by District 55 superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters.
In his remarks – presumably, the actual “State of the Schools” address – Peters talked about all the progress being made, about a drastic reduction in dropouts, various programs and committees designed for public input, the summer basketball league, the $4 million grant the district is targeting, with individual human vignettes thrown in for good measure.
The district is ambitious because its superintendent is.
“Nobody rises to low expectations,” Peters said.