Picking quality over quantity

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

by Nicole Daughhetee

Having two smaller middle schools in Easley is certainly ideal; however, if the money isn’t there — it simply is not there!

Before I make anyone in Easley angry with me (definitely not my intention here) you all have to know by now that I am nothing if not a proponent of education. As a perfectionist and overachiever, it is my hope that these attributes of character are being passed along to my daughters, albeit in a healthy way.

At her awards ceremony on Monday (I haven’t been to Ella’s yet), Emerson earned a trophy for being on the “A” honor roll all year. I have never been prouder or more elated by her accomplishments. It is a running joke (not that I’m kidding) that both girls are going to Harvard come hell or high water.

I want them to be successful in school. I want them to have a quality education. And I believe it is as much my responsibility as the SDPC’s to ensure they receive the best education possible.

Em has two more years at Forest Acres before she graduates to middle school; Ella has three. Again, I loved the idea of them being in a smaller middle school — whether it was Gettys or Brice — but this not being a possibility does not spell doom or gloom for me or them.

When all is said and done, Brice (Gettys) Middle will have had anywhere from $20-24 million worth of renovations and new construction.

In my mind, that “ain’t too shabby.” How will this not be a vast improvement to the current Gettys campus? (I mean no offense here whatsoever).

The last year has given me a lot of new perspective on life and what is truly important, and I have matured a great deal.

Brice and Gettys are buildings. Structures. Given the choice, I want my girls to go to a school that is bright and new, asbestos-free, safe and the best money has to offer; but more than the building, the technology equipment, the paint color or the seating in the cafeteria — their insurance policy for a quality education comes down to their teachers, principals and the fact that I make time to be involved in their educational lives.

Easley could have two gorgeous, expensive, state-of-the-art middle schools with every bell and whistle imaginable, but without quality educators and leaders, what difference do any of those superficial elements make?

Am I disappointed that there aren’t going to be two middle schools as planned? Perhaps.

Do I find it unnerving that the SDPC is just figuring out there are not enough finds this far into the project(s)? That would be a resounding yes!

Do I think that my children are going to suffer or receive any less of a quality education in one $20 million dollar middle school as opposed to two $15-16 million dollar middle schools? Absolutely not.

This is simply another example of quantity versus quality, and I would personally choose quality over quantity every day of the week and twice in Sundays.