By Wayne Gates –
Ohio State Senator Joe Uecker recently spent most of a day visiting the Georgetown system.
“He was kind enough to spend five hours of his time with us. I’m grateful that he took that time to engage our people. I think our staff felt honored that he picked Georgetown to come and observe,” said Georgetown Superinten-dent Christopher Burrows.
“The thing that he kept saying was that he could tell that there is a lot of pride around this place. From my observation, he was pleasantly surprised by the climate of the school and how the kids responded to him. When he went into the Kindergarten class, he got about 25 hugs.”
Uecker said that he was very pleased with the visit.
“They invited me and wanted to show me what they were all about. We are just getting into the state budget and it helps me to have a perspective of what we are talking about when we deal with numbers. It was a great atmosphere, a good learning environment.”
Uecker was also mistaken for another politician with a bit of a higher profile.
“When he went to the K-2 classes and I asked if anyone knows who this is, he was called Donald Trump three times,” said Burrows.
Older students spent time with Senator Uecker as well.
“We had a small focus group of high school students to talk with him and he engaged these kids and asked them about education. He asked them what they would change if they were him. That was a really neat conversation to observe,” Burrows said.
Both Uecker and Burrows commented on the value of lawmakers getting a first hand look at how thier actions affect citizens in their districts.
“I think that the more we can collectively engage with our legislative representatives, the better decisions they will make. I don’t think they make bad decisions on purpose, but the make them with the information they have at the time. Often that is not a perspective from the trenches of public education,” said Burrows.
Uecker expressed the same thought.
“It’s good to come out of the ivory tower and get a good look at what your cause and effect can be. I enjoyed getting some first hand insight on what public education is all about,” he said.