This week Chrisney Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School, one of just nine Indiana schools and 300 in the nation to receive this 2011 designation. Please join me in congratulating Principal Julie Kemp, teachers, students and the administration of North Spencer School Corporation. This is not an accomplishment made in a single year, but that of a long course of work focusing on improvement, creativity, teamwork and an overall commitment to ensure every child has the opportunity to achieve to his/her potential. This is another seed of success now planted deeply into the Chrisney community alongside their beautiful "Net Zero" library, both are testaments to their commitment towards learning as a community.
I also participated in Ferdinand's HomeTown Competitiveness (HTC) Entrepreneurship team this week. Jim Hagedorn, the team leader, and about 10 other members are "slogging along" on several different projects. They have, in the past, sponsored Four Seasons for Business, an education program for existing businesses and would-be entrepreneurs they created and a very successful program at Forest Park High School engaging students in entrepreneurship. They have several more irons in the fire including helping a local organization commercialize a Crane technology, pursuing an engineering design center, and developing local venture capital. Not all of these ideas will bear fruit and, even if they do, it will be a long, slow road. However, in total, the efforts of this team have raised awareness of entrepreneurship, are providing a mentoring framework for entrepreneurs, and are fueling Ferdinand's growth.
Perry County is launching their HomeTown Competitiveness Initiative this weekend. HTC has the potential of transforming Perry County as well as it brings a community engagement process to identify needs and develop solutions for Perry County. Thanks to Cheri Taylor, Community Coordinator, Martha Steckler, Indiana HTC Site Coach, Pillar Team leaders and all those who have given their initial support to this program. I can only tell you that good things will come. If you are a Perry County resident and have not yet signed up for a team, contact Cheri at the Perry Count Chamber. The teams include Entrepreneurship, Youth, Rural Families, Leadership and Philanthropy.
We all have the ability to plant seeds of positive change. I want to thank all community, business, school and church leaders and members who initiate, participate and encourage the positive change our communities and organizations need to thrive. As I look across this region, I see the seeds being sown. Not all will sprout, but I ask you for patience and "to slog through it" as many seeds will eventually sprout and, when they do, the outcomes will be well worth the wait. Our communities, families and young people are absolutely worth our best efforts.
Have a wonderful week as we enter the Fall Season!
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)