Letters to the Editor 12.18.13

A Welcomed Salute To Service

I wish to relate to you a small observance which took place on November 11, 2013 at Sullivan High School on the lawn next to the building’s front entrance.

A teacher on the high school staff Ms. Becky Lawson, in her visits to Greenhill Cemetery to pay her respects to her neighbors who were buried there, noticed a lonely grave in the area. Inscribed on the stone was the name Corporal Harold Marble, a birth date, and a death date of Dec. 10, 1944. Being an inquisitive soul, she decided on a quest to learn more about the long dead soldier.

Her exploration resulted in information coming from a student in France, contacts with Harold Marble’s cousins and eventually the commemorative service mentioned in the first paragraph above.

Ms. Lawson learned that Corporal Marble had attended school in the Liberty area of the county and high school in Sullivan. He played the coronet in the band and belonged to the Future Farmers of America.

Harold Marble enlisted in the army infantry and was trained as a mortarman. Marble landed in Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 as a member of the 359th infantry regiment, 90th infantry division of General Cortney Hodge’s 1st army.

Marble was killed December 10, 1944 outside of Aachen, Germany while serving his mortar. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Corporal Marble’s body was repatriated to the United States where it was entered on July 28, 1948, in Sullivan’s Greenhill Cemetery.

Ms. Lawson invited those family members who were living to the service along with her co-teachers, principal Young, as well as student advisory groups. Corporal Marble, after 69 years, was remembered once again.

The students were models of deportment and conduct. They are worthy of recognition. Seeing them in positions of responsibility makes one’s mind rest at ease as to the leadership in the Sullivan community.

Ed LeCrone, Sullivan
2nd Cousin of Harold Marble

P.S. I watched as a man who was attending the junior high school’s tribute to the veterans. The junior high service had not yet begun. The student band at Marble’s service had just begun the playing of the National Anthem. The man stopped, removed his hat and started singing. I ask, ‘Can you find a better community than Sullivan?’


Bewildered From “No Job Left Behind”

As a 1972 Sullivan High School alumni I had the opportunity to read the recent article, “Area Educators and Businesses Meet to Discuss “No Job Left Behind” by Christina Whitford. It left me bewildered.

I am a retired physician who has also been a home-schooling mother, so I do know a little about education, albeit not in the traditional sense. Having taught chemistry and biology to several students, it is apparent that not all children learn in the same way.

In total disclosure, I am the sister-in-law of the recently booted auto mechanics teacher, Joe Scribner. Some of the students who had not done well in “traditional” classes excelled in the auto mechanics class. Some who had been labeled as “trouble-makers” were well behaved, engaged in learning. His class was so popular that the students themselves united to try to save it.

Even so, the superintendent decided that due to financial restraints, the class had to be cancelled. So when I read that, “many local employers and educational leaders met to discuss…how to get a new generation of young employees ready for the workplace…to teach students how to be a successful employee,” I had to marvel.

Upon reading the statement by Stepheny McMahon, executive director of Sullivan Community Economic Development, “We want to make sure each student is taught a marketable skill, has a good work ethic, and good attendance,” I had to ask myself if she had just moved to Sullivan with no knowledge of recent administrative educational decisions.

When I read that, “students having just graduated from high school oftentime have an unrealistic expectation of what the workforce entails and the responsibilities that come along with being an employee,” I had to chuckle. Apparently the powers in charge of the limited monies for the school district felt that putting that money toward Sullivan Singers made more sense than continuing the auto mechanics class. Who is it who really has the unrealistic expectations?

Please don’t misunderstand. I do believe that the arts are quite important; but not at the expense of learning daily living skills. Almost every adult drives a car and must maintain it; not too many adults sing and dance around--at least not in public.

I realize that Superintendent Tuttle was not the superintendent at the time of the decision, but as high school principal and incoming superintendent he was intimately involved, and I also know that every school board member voted in agreement to cancel the auto mechanics class. So I have a suggestion for those citizens of Sullivan who care about the future of local education. Sometimes things seem clearer to those looking in at problems from afar. Next time elections are held I would hope that citizens who actually care about all students will step up to run for the school board. Every one of those school board members who proved that they simply are “yes” votes for poor administrative decisions needs to be replaced. And I hope one of those to step up will be Joe Scribner.

Carol Hopper-Hill
Diamondhead, Mississippi

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