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It is Time for An Alumni Association, Community Fund in McKenzie

By Joel Washburn
washburn@mckenziebanner.com
Posted 12/28/21

The year 2022 is a great time to start a McKenzie High School Alumni Association, a Community Fund, and a Newcomers’ Welcome Initiative.

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It is Time for An Alumni Association, Community Fund in McKenzie

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The year 2022 is a great time to start a McKenzie High School Alumni Association, a Community Fund, and a Newcomers’ Welcome Initiative.

In 2021, the local business community decided to support a brand new McKenzie Chamber of Commerce and Industry. That is designed to support local businesses, hosts Business After Hours and breakfasts for the business community, and support and host events in McKenzie. There has not been a Chamber in McKenzie since the early 1980s when the local Chamber dissolved in support of a new county Chamber. The new McKenzie Chamber is just an example of what can be achieved by keeping the local resources local.

McKenzie Schools often rank academically in the top schools in Tennessee. In December, it was released McKenzie High School’s ACT scores were in the top 10 in Tennessee. The school has success in academics, athletics, and is a determining factor to attract new families to our community.

An Alumni Association could supplement the excellent school system. It could establish scholarship funds for students to attend college or technical school. It could establish long-term funds for the school to tap at critical times. An Alumni Association would also be a point of pride for alumni.

Henry County sets the high standard for community support with its Helping Hand, a non-profit organization that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support its local community organizations. The Paris-Henry County Chamber also just started a community fund. Those funds are raised locally, administered locally, and are not subject to the skimming of a percentage of any national organization.

And last, a newcomers’ initiative could help new residents understand the complexities of a city in three counties or a county with five special school districts, a county school districts, and Carroll Academy.

I had a lifelong resident of McKenzie state his intentions to seek a seat on the school board. I told him he was ineligible because he resides in Weakley County and he does not reside in the school district.

Let’s continue this conversation.

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