LETTER: Benefits of Greene Technology Center outweigh differences between school system leaders | Letters to the Editor

The benefits of the Greene Technology Center outweigh the differences between school system leaders

Winston Churchill noted that “if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we will find that we have lost the future”. I fear we are on the verge of losing the future if the Greene County and Greeneville school systems cannot find a way to overcome past differences to sustain the great resource of the Greene Technology Center.

I am disheartened to learn that the county commission is considering ending the nearly 50-year partnership at the Greene Technology Center, reportedly over verbiage conflicts in a draft memorandum of understanding. The dispute can go beyond simple language to other issues in the past severing this partnership. I urge both principals and both school boards to work through minor agreement differences to focus on the larger future of this community.

I constantly hear citizens say that we want our children to receive an education so that they can live and raise a family in our region. Brain drain is a real problem in Greeneville/Greene County. At the same time, we know that the Greene Technology Center trains qualified, work-ready students in welding, cosmetology, automotive repair, industrial machining, and other critical career fields. Skills that provide our children with the opportunity to earn a very good income right here in Greene County. The Greene Technology Center hosts 14 programs taught by 12 committed instructors. Because we can’t work out the small differences in an agreement, we appear to be on a path that replicates these 14 programs, 12 teachers, and associated overhead and travel costs at two different schools in the county at great cost to the taxpayer. , or the number of technology programs currently offered dwindles to a point where it is nowhere as effective as the Greene Technology Center’s current offerings.

Could the school leaders of Greeneville and Greene County put our future ahead of politics to overcome these minor differences today so that our community can shape our workforce and business needs for the future?

The writer is the administrator for the town of Greeneville.

Jeremy S. McLain