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Young educators finding their future in a familiar place
Most of a new crop of teachers are too young to remember the song by the Animals, "We Gotta Get Out of this Place," and the theme from "Welcome Back, Kotter" was before their time as well.
But the fact that many of them are finding more in common with the later television show than the earlier rock tune says a lot for McCook Public Schools and their hometown community.
We hope you are enjoying Lorri Sughroue's five-part feature series this week, featuring five McCook High School graduates who have found themselves back in the same classrooms, but as teachers this time.
One has found herself working with her own second grade teacher, 17 years later, but this time with smart boards instead of blackboards or overhead projectors.
Another appreciates his wife's shorter commute to work, and a third is enjoying being a physical education teacher and coach after trying his hand at another highly competitive activity, that of being a salesman.
A fourth is following in his father's footsteps -- but now with benefit of air conditioning -- and a fifth finds fulfilment in a junior high science classroom while looking forward to raising a family in a small town.
Of course, it isn't all about air conditioning and electronics, but the McCook Public Schools has done its part to keep up with other schools recruiting its own talented graduates and competing for those from other schools, offering new or remodeled facilities and opportunities for growth.
But the public schools and other major employers have a lot to offer potential employees in the form of a thriving community that is big enough to offer most important services and attractions, yet small enough to be inviting to those for whom values such as a good work ethic, personal integrity and old fashioned values are vitally important.
Hometown shoppers don't always appreciate the selection, but McCook is, indeed a trade center for those seeking quality products of all types and at reasonable prices.
And, a drive around town reveals a commitment to the future in the form of new construction and remodeling projects such as the Keystone Business Center, the new McCook Community College events center, the city's new administration, fire and police station, preliminary work on the new Red Willow County Jail, and several major church construction and remodeling projects.
All of that translates into an attractive package for teachers, spouses who are interested in careers in similar or other fields, and their families.
Come to think about it, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised more and more young professionals are finding their futures, right here at home.