odds & ends

Since High School Tour 2009 will be published Tuesday morning, here is some of the stuff that won’t be included in the print or online versions of the tour.


While I sat in the school office, woman number one pulled out her cell phone to call someone and get copies of paperwork needed to complete the registration process. When she didn’t find the phone number on her SIM card, she asked the two women on the other side of the desk if they had a phone book nearby. The woman seated behind a computer, looked in all the drawers of her desk before mumbling that she couldn’t find her copy of the phone book. At the same time, the other woman looked away from the computer where she was typing and pulled a very nice smart phone out of her purse. “What number do you call for information?”


In another school office, on another day, a vice principal re-enacted a scene from “Pump Up The Volume.” I’m sure I didn’t have a p-p-p-poker face reaction, since she looked at me and declared that “they make us be this way.”


In yet another school building, a teacher actually wept for a student who made a series of bad decisions that led to a tragedy.


  • One principal didn’t get the e-mail about my visit, but dropped everything on his schedule to spend more than an hour talking to me.
  • All but one school spent over an hour talking to me and showing me the highs and lows of their facilities.
  • The principal at a school my children have never attended, remembered my oldest child, despite having taught 1000’s of students over the years.
  • One SMART principal told me exactly what her school needs first and what it already has second.
  • Knox County Schools’ teachers spent their summer vacation painting, scrubbing and landscaping their schools.

The high school tours and the time I spent with school administrators was one of the best experiences of my life. I highly recommend that anyone who “hears” this or that about a school, call and schedule a visit to see and hear the truth.

6 thoughts on “odds & ends

  1. I’m very anxious to hear what you have to say about Hardin Valley, because that may be where BrainyBoy will be attending next year as a freshman…

  2. So, I assume the Powell principal didn’t spend enough time with you to be given an evaluation/summary?

  3. Is the PTA the same as the PTSA? Because they asked me to join for 6 dollars and asked for a one-time donation of 35 dollars.

  4. PTA, PTO and PTSO are different versions of the same thing. HVA asks for a donation at the beginning instead of the endless, and I do mean endless, stream of fundraisers that other schools have.

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