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Karen Phillips: Saving Geneva Elementary

Karen McEnany-Phillips

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What would you do with an extra twenty-four hours? This year we get the gift of leap year's extra day on Feb. 29 and have Julius Caesar to thank for adding this unique event. It is our way of keeping the calendar aligned with the earth's annual revolution around the sun. It takes the earth 365.2422 days to circle the sun, but our Gregorian calendar is exactly 365 days. Without the adjustment it is said that in one hundred years our calendar would be off twenty-four days, nearly a month! To qualify as a leap year the year must be evenly divisible by 4, 100 and 400. So think about what you can do with that extra twenty-four hours and make it count.

Thank You Geneva Elementary Task Force

By now we know that the Seminole County School Board removed school closings as a budget solution for the coming year. Geneva Elementary of course was considered to be at the top of the short list and that vulnerability made it a quick target.

The Geneva Mustangs' rescue was galvanized by a grassroots effort led by the Save Geneva Elementary Task Force. Our community owes these 14 people a huge debt of thanks for taking on this issue with unlimited time, commitment, dedication and professionalism.

These folks are true community heroes who reviewed documents, conducted research, reached out to the community, garnered support at the county and state levels, planned strategies, wrote letters, sent emails and attended multiple School Board meetings. They represent the epitome of what we call 'getting involved' and not only over the past several months. They volunteer their time all year long in efforts that directly and indirectly benefit Geneva Elementary and its students.

Most of them are involved in many, many community, volunteer and leadership opportunities but always seem to make time when they feel so compelled. They always step up because they love this village, its history and especially the school that nourishes the children who will shape our future.

Hats off and well done to the Fearless Fourteen. Your passion is appreciated and truly priceless.

Fearless Fourteen in Alpha Order

Kiersten Berkoben, PTA President, School Advisory Council; Sandy Buckner, School Advisory Council; Veronica Beaudoin, parent; Julie Clark, PTA Board, School Advisory Council; Richard Creedon, Geneva Citizen’s Association; Cindy Decker, PTA Board, School Advisory Council; Mary Jo Martin, Geneva Historical & Genealogical Society; Jaymie McCoy, parent; Jennifer McCoy, parent; Dean Price, parent; Kerri Rankin, parent; Alison Warren, PTA Board; Christine Wydra, PTA Board; Imogene Yarborough, community member.

Future School Budget Issues & Elections

Please take a few moments to get in touch with any or all of them and extend your personal thanks for what they've done and will continue to do in the months to come. This is also a great time to educate yourself about issues that affect our school budgets like unfunded state and national mandates, transportation costs, charter schools, enrollment, capacity and school retirement pensions. Don't forget the next School Board Commission elections will be in August and November.

4th of July Planning Meeting – Community Yard Sale

The first meeting to plan the 2012 Geneva 4th of July Parade and Festival will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Community Center. The meeting will focus on selecting this year's theme. All new ideas and newcomers are absolutely welcome- many hands lighten the workload, so come on out and help fellow Genevans plan our signature event.

Mark your calendar Saturday, March 3, for the Annual Geneva Community Yard Sale. Find beautiful crafts, lovely treasures, food and trinkets while supporting the Geneva Historical & Genealogical Society. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call Mary Jo Martin for more information at 407-349-5697.