Just a glimpse of me...

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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

13 November 2009


I DO NOT SEE THE ACS DECISION ON THE FUTURE OF OUR SCHOOLS AS BEING AN ANDERSON VS. HIGHLAND THING (or vice versa). I believe that a sense of unity in this community about our educational choices is crucial to the future of our community. I think we've struggled a lot with a "unity" mindset in past years. The welfare and success of the students (the future of our world) should be of utmost importance!

I believe that two 7-12 campuses would be the best for our students (now & for their futures). Personally, I don't see our having two school campuses as a division of the community. I believe two 7-12 campuses would afford more opportunities (current & future) to our existing students & our community.

I also see other advantages to having two 7-12 campuses... like 2 major scholarships for our town (e.g. Rotary, Eli Lilly, individual college scholarships, etc.) The number of students able to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, the arts, community outreach, scholastic clubs, etc.) would be doubled with the two campuses. In addition, middle school students who excel in certain areas would have more opportunities available if they were physically on a 7-12 campus. The chances to excel in scholastics and in extracurricular areas would be doubled.

As a parent of two ACS students, I remember the days when we one was in middle school and the other was in high school. Supporting our children's extracurricular events would have been so much more manageable had they been on one campus. As it was, we were fortunate to be predominantly on one side of town. The thought of attempting to support those activities when one was on one side of town & the other was on the other side of town is horrendous. Another thing that comes to my mind is the safety of the high school students who will be commuting to/from high school -- many of them will be covering twice the distance between home & school. YIKES - more teen drivers on the local roads to add to morning traffic!

Please take some time to figure out what you believe is best for our students & our community. MAKE TIME TO WRITE LETTERS (addresses at the very bottom) to communicate your views to the board members of Anderson Community Schools. Their decision will affect EVERYONE in our community. You may have students who will attend or are now attending school. Others have grandchildren or others to consider. Many are merely interested in making this community the best it can be. The ACS Board will make their decision in the coming weeks, announcing their final decision at the December Board Meeting. We will all be affected by this important decision.

Take a look at the ACS website (http://www.acsc.net), specifically in the ACSC Challenge 2010 report given to the board last spring. The recommendation of that committee, based on the numerous town-hall meetings, was to keep two high schools. They even suggested looking at the 7-12 plan. Below is information from the website:

ACSC Challenge 2010 -Public Outreach/Consensus Building Workshops
Advisory Panel Final Recommendations to the Board of School Trustees - March 3, 2009
4.3.1Recommendation:Address the Primary Consolidation Concerns of the Community:
  • Keep two (2) High Schools/Consider 7-12 Jr./Sr. High School Configuration
  • Retain Neighborhood Schools
  • Retain Vocational and Alternative Education Programs Separate from the High School Buildings
  • Deal with the Wigwam
  • Student Achievement should Drive Grade Configuration
  • Retain Capacity for Growth
  • Minimize Reduction in Force
Below are excerpts from a recent letter for your information and consideration:

Tuesday, November 10, at the regular monthly meeting of the ACS Board Members, several teachers and parents addressed the board members about their upcoming decision on the future of our schools. Everyone that spoke was in favor of option B (Two 7-12 campuses). No one spoke in favor of option A (7-9 on 1 campus; 10-12 on the other campus).

Some benefits that could be accomplished by having two 7-12 campuses are:
  1. More course offerings for 7th & 8th graders. Potential for higher academic classes for high achieving middle school students (biology, geometry, foreign language, etc.).
  2. Better curriculum alignment/mapping between middle school and high school faculty and a better "bridge" between middle school and high school.
  3. Leading students of the upper grades could serve as role models for the younger students.
  4. Students would have less transition (i.e. same building for 6 years - rather than in one building for 3 years and then off to another building for 3 years).
In the past, both Madison Heights & Highland facilities were used as 7-12 buildings. Procedures could easily be implemented to effective separate the middle school students from the high school students, thereby reducing the concerns some parents have about having 7th graders in the same building with seniors, etc.

Some concerns with only one high school campus include:
  1. Loss of opportunities for students - especially in terms of athletics, performing arts, student council/leadership, team captains, scholarships, etc. Basically, the opportunities for our communities' students would get cut in half in many areas.
  2. Transportation/Travel issues – many students would spend a considerably longer amount of time on the buses to/from school; the travel across town would be difficult/less-convenient for parents who have children in both schools at the same time; many of the high school students who drive themselves to/from school daily would have longer commutes.
  3. Many parents have indicated that will move and/or look elsewhere if the middle school is located on one side of town & the high school is located on the other. Loss of more students would definitely make the financial hole for ACS deeper.
  4. There are concerns over where the freshman would fit into curricular offerings and participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that have been extended to 9th graders.
With Option A the majority of the “proposed savings of a million dollars” comes in the loss of teachers, as both Options A & B would use the same number of buildings. The ACS Challenge 2010 Committee last year held numerous town-hall meetings and reported that the community did not support Option A.

PARENTS HAVE TO GET INVOLVED in this process by sending letters to the school board. Have you written/sent your letter yet? The time to act is NOW. They will come to the December board meeting with their decision already made. Speaking at the December meeting will be too little too late. If you feel this is important, then you MUST express your thoughts/feelings to the board members.


Philip (P.T.) Morgan, President
816 Northwood Drive
Anderson, IN 46011
(765) 649-8083

Timothy A. Long, Vice-President
2721 Mounds Rd, A8
Anderson, IN 46016
(765) 622-9006

William (Bill) Riffe, Secretary
4743 Lakewood Hills Drive
Anderson, IN 46017
(765) 354-9548

Tobi K. Jones, Assistant Secretary
1311 East 28th Street
Anderson, IN 46016
(765) 639-5014

Teddy Bohnenkamp, Member
2327 Cedar Bend Drive
Anderson, IN 46011
(765) 643-6065

Keith Millikan, Member
4802 Lakewood Hills Court
Anderson, IN 46017
(765) 354-4910

Irma Hampton Stewart, Member
507 West 9th Street
Anderson, IN 46016
(765) 644-0204

12 November 2009

Shape Your Future

Some days are so much harder than others. And, each of us faces challenges. 

I personally believe that Satan throws more ruble in the paths of those who are committed to & seeking after the paths of righteousness. 

It's easy to look at this moment's problems & easily forget about past blessings. As each day holds hardships at the hand of the devil, each day holds countless blessings from the Lord. We just need to open our eyes, look for them & SEE them! 

photo by T. Getz
Here's a thought for today
Look for great moments today; lock them in your heart; recall them in future times of hardship. Shape your future with the best of your past! 

As told to Jeduthun, the choir director, by Asaph in Psalm 77:11&12, "I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them."

Shape your future with the best of your past -- through Him!

(posted 11/09)

05 November 2009

Open Mouth... Insert Foot

Photo by T. Getz... Thoughts below by me :)

I've been thinking about two concepts from scripture today (due largely to 2-3 things that happened). The two concepts are "having God watch over my mouth" before the words even come out and "speaking the truth in love". When I find myself approaching a situation wondering if/what to say or not say, I almost always whisper Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." I found that scripture several years ago & have relied upon it so many times. My mind goes to the phrase, speaking the truth in love, which is found nestled in Ephesians 4:11-15, "It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Do I always succeed in combining the two? NO.  But, by getting in the habit of whispering the Psalm 141:3 prayer, it's become much better than it used to be. And, by measuring my actions in light of building UP Christ's body (the church), I find help in my decision making.

May we be open to God's direction moment by moment of each day, so that the body of Christ may be built up - not damaged - through our words, actions & thoughts.

(written 31 Oct 2009)