My View

My view: Let’s keep competitive advantage in Clover schools

March 12, 2014 

Have you walked in Hardee’s on a Saturday morning lately and wondered why you don’t recognize anyone there? Clover has changed, and there’s no disputing that.

Some may say it’s for the better, our growth, and some may say it’s for the worse, losing the Clover they always remember.

Regardless of your viewpoint, Clover has changed with the times. Sure, some things remain constant – the old mill on South Main and Killian’s Service Center, although some may not remember when it was on the corner, two doors down from the police department. Businesses have changed, and housing developments have come into Clover. As a result, those who have lived here their entire lives don’t recognize everyone on a Saturday morning at Hardee’s, a Saturday lunch at the Eagle’s Nest or a weekday lunch at Jackson’s Kitchen. Nevertheless, Clover continues to be a great place to live, and we welcome newcomers because we’re a welcoming community.

One thing that hasn’t changed is our top-notch school district. We have great facilities, exceptional instructors, and an athletics community that continues to bring everyone together. From an athletics standpoint, we have a community like no other – bringing in family coaches like Chad Smith, basketball coaches like Bailey Jackson, and most importantly, people changing their Facebook pages to “Team Hop” to support a friend and life-long Clover resident and basketball coach Sherer Hopkins. This is why I continue to call Clover my home.

It’s a shame the division I saw as a middle school kid has reared its ugly head. Before Clover started its growth, it was Kinard, Bethany, and Bethel elementary schools when I was at Kinard in the mid-1970s.

Then, when the two schools came together, it was basically a Clover versus Lake Wylie mentality. The atmosphere was a divided one, and it seems we’re not too far from that today. This is unfortunate because Clover and Lake Wylie should stand together to make sure that we are taken care of in western York County and in this state. If we don’t stand together, we’ll continue to see most of the county funding go to the eastern part of the county and state funding go to the upstate or low country.

I can appreciate the strong interests of those in Lake Wylie to have a new high school. I can also understand the concerns of those fearing a tax increase due to the March 22 school bond referendum.

However, I can’t help but think of the impacts of the alternative: overcrowding and less attention to our kids, the enormous cost and high taxes from a new high school, and the exacerbated division that will come from the result. I think our school board and administrators have done an excellent job of leadership in coming up with solutions that are the best for our entire district. A perfect example is the ninth grade academy, considering the positive impact that can have on drop-out rates, cost, and the ability for our younger high school kids to acclimate.

I hope that on March 22 everyone will go to the polls completely informed, and vote with both their minds and their hearts.

Think about those educators, athletes, coaches, and administrators. Most importantly, think about our future – the students! Let’s keep our competitive advantage as the top school system in South Carolina.

Wesley Spurrier is a Clover resident and a member of the Clover Town Council.

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