The Family of Clinton

I heard the title of today’s article from Mark Green as he provided part of the eulogy at his mother’s funeral, the late Ms. Betty Green. I had never considered this statement yet it rings so very true. Mr. Green talked about how as he grew up in Clinton many more people than even his beloved mother helped shape him into what he later became. He stated that coming into town the sign says “Welcome to the City of Clinton.” This is where he took the opportunity to say the profound comment, “What is better would be ‘Welcome to the Family of Clinton.’” I looked around tonight (Friday evening) and I say so much to be proud of in our family—the softball team was winning handily against an opponent; the newly-formed Astronomy Club (led by Lon Lasseigne and Laurel Hickman) were gazing at the stars and constellations in a much more dimly light area of campus. Our own newspaper The Clinton Chronicle received the high praise as one of the very best small papers in the state (something we already knew) and its publisher, Larry Franklin, received commendation for his 40-plus years in the industry. Clinton, for all of its warts, moles, and blemishes, has much to be proud of. We really are more of a family in some respects than a town. It saddens me when people speak ill of this place. Although not Clinton-born, I see many, many things to make us special. For example, • We celebrate the CHS Science Olympiad Team as they won the state championship at Newberry College this past Saturday, its eighth state championship in nine years. They will join their middle school teammates as Team Clinton when both teams travel to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio this May. • We offer a full slate of spring sports—baseball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and track—all at a high school of slightly more than 800 students. • We have a newly constructed baseball and softball complex with no additional tax increase. • We have THE middle school South Carolina State Champion Academic Challenge team and THE high school team which is 3rd in the state. • We have a growing and wonderfully talented band program under the most capable leadership of Andrew Young and Hugh Pace. • We have a beautiful and community-engaged four-year liberal arts college in our backyard. • We have a vibrant two-year technical college offering students opportunities for high paying, technical careers. • We have an increasingly large apprenticeship program with a wonderful business partner, ZF Transmission. Too often we look through the lens of what we don’t have or no longer have. I lamented the loss of CMI and Torrington, as I did the loss of my parents; however, as my dad reminded me before his death, “Just because I die, you do not. You must carry on. And I know you will.” I have fretted over other communities’ growth while we remain stagnant…when, in reality, we aren’t. Just as spring is now upon us, so too is the growth…the buds of opportunities showing forth in our community. Our district is committed to several things over the next couple of years. They include: • One-to-one technology for all students in grades 5-12…and if we hold our mouths right, maybe even 4-12; • Additional high school credits available to students at the middle school; • Additional AP courses at the high school; • Additional foreign language opportunities at MS Bailey and CHS with our partnership at Presbyterian College and the Confucius Institute. Our schools are districts are supports in making our community a vibrant and growing place. Clinton, coupled with its sister communities of Cross Hill, Joanna, Mountville, and the Laurens County side of Whitmire, are poised for great things. Why? The people. And not just any people. A Family. May it be so! (Dr. David O’Shields is superintendent of School District 56.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902


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