McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

Want to impact your community? Many of McIntosh's citizen boards have open seats and a council at a loss as to how to fill them.

Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

06.15.07 -- Letter to the Editor: School employee urges community response

Editor's note: Linda McCollum called me this morning to ask for help posting a comment about the ongoing discussion on the McIntosh school. She sent me the following letter to post, as is. She and I decided it might be better placed as a "letter to the editor" in a posting of its own since her wishes were for many in the community to read it.

The Mirror always encourages and welcomes letters and posts from the community.

McCollum is an employee of McIntosh Area Charter School and a long-time McIntosh resident. Her grandchildren go to the school, and her family has served on the school's board.

I work at the school. So, yes, I have a vested interest in the school. The reason I started working at the school is I raised my children in this community without the benefit of a community school. My grandchildren are now growing up here.

A community school is important because each child is known for who they are. The teachers and staff have a closer connection to each child's family.

A small community school fosters community spirit, pride and involvement. I challenge anyone who is either against the building of a school or who doesn't care one way or the other to volunteer at the school. We have all these young individuals who will be part of the future right here, eager to learn, to be respected for their individual strengths and weaknesses, who will always hold McIntosh in their hearts because they were part of McIntosh during these early formative years.

For those with concerns that the school is not financially sound, our books are a matter of public record. We have saved a considerable amount in a reserve account and it is now earning interest. When I started working at the school we couldn't afford any benefits. We now offer health care and 401K benefits to our full time staff. We added a part time PE teacher last year who will be full time this coming year. We did not receive capital improvement money until the 2006-07 year, so all lease payments for our buildings came from FTE funds.

In August we will open our doors for our 5th year. Our fifth grade class will be our first graduating class from McIntosh Area School. They have thrived and done well. We are proud of them.

The Town Council of McIntosh has supported the school by allowing us to occupy the office space and the land for the modular buildings for $10 a year. We could not have come this far without their support. Now we are ready for the next step. We want our students to have a permanent school building in which to attend classes. A new building would provide safe shelter for our students and promote community pride as well as enhance the value of our property. Young families will be encouraged to buy here when homes come on the market because they will have a small, community school for their children.

I urge all of the citizens of McIntosh to join the efforts of those who see the value of a community school. Talk to your neighbors about it. Call or write your council members and mayor letting them know how you feel. In early July we hope to have several meetings in neighborhood homes to dispense vital information regarding the financial obligations involved and how those obligations might impact the citizens of McIntosh. I believe we must all be well informed in order to make the right decision for our town.

Thanks for your time.
Linda Gail McCollum

posted by Cher @ 11:54 AM,


At   June 16, 2007 10:39 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

No one can argue the fine job the teachers have done in educating the charter school students. The scores on FCAT were really wonderful, and 19 of the eighty returning students actually live here in McIntosh. That's right less than one fourth of the student body.
I'm not going to let numbers be a reason for the government of this town to noot fund the charter school, although those numbers should make you wonder. In the last thirty years I recall this to be the highest number of children school age in McIntosh. Unless, of course, the younger families are planning larger birth rates I'm thinking that the school will never have more than 1/4th of the student body actually members of town families.
Why put the tax payer on the hook for the loan and the possiblle loss of the land, or leave us stuck with a large mortgage payment and proper ty we have no need?

At   June 18, 2007 10:16 AM     ,    Blogger McIntosh Flash    said...

Good idea about the larger birth rates - My wife and I will work on that tonight!

At   June 18, 2007 7:49 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Tooooooo much information! :)

At   June 27, 2007 3:08 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

That school has no chance as long as Marsha,Howard and Charlsie are against it.

At   June 27, 2007 4:17 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

yall are a bunch of haters

At   June 27, 2007 5:26 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I have heard Howard talk about the old school that I believe he attended. The stories I heard were positive. I hope we can come together as a community and make this happen for the good of our children.
It sure is nice seeing kids playing in the park, riding there bikes. etc. We have a good group of kids in town...if you don't believe me... talk to one of them. I think you will see most of them have manners.
What's that saying "It takes a village to raise a child". We as a Community have a chance to do that.


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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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