Eubanks Intermediate School students had some tough competition on the playground recently. One afternoon Carroll ISD School Board President Read Ballew, Trustee John Thane and Superintendent Dr. David Faltys took students up on an offer to come to the campus and play basketball. For the students and board members, the pick-up game was the icing on the cake that was several weeks in the making.
The call to the court actually came back in January during School Board Appreciation Month, when the EIS student body wrote thank you notes to Trustees. Hand written messages from two students really caught the attention of trustees. Sixth graders Jacob Doddridge and Brock Gaskill started their notes with a simple, “thank you for being a board member” and “we appreciate what you do for students” but ended with a series of post-script requests.
Below their names, Doddridge and Gaskill included various “P.S.” and “P.S.S.” statements asking board members for new basketball nets. The wish list became more ambitious with each request- one for a new scoreboard on the field and another for a hot dog stand.
The notes resonated with Thane. He said he carried one message with him for about a month. The simple honesty of a child asking for a single basketball net seemed like a reasonable request. Before too long, the EIS playground had some new hardware.
“The board was awesome enough to send two brand new nets and invited us to play basketball with them,” Doddridge said.
Efforts were already underway to replace the nets when trustees Thane and Ballew stepped in to help. Instead of replacing the nets with traditional fabric material, the district installed two new chain nets that can withstand the weather and daily use by the hundred or so students that flock to the playground on school days.
On the afternoon the nets were installed Ballew, Thane and Faltys helped the students break them in. Doddridge and Brock invited a friend, Jeremy Bach and the group played a short pick-up game.
“Every now and then we have the opportunity to have fun as Trustees,” said Ballew. “Responding to a request for basketball nets was made more fun by playing three-on-three with the students.”
The desire to help students and make their academic career at Carroll ISD a success is a common feeling among School Board members and Administration.
Thane, who has served on the school board for five years said, “This was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done as a Trustee.”
He added, “the students alerted us to the need… and we listened to them.”
The students at Eubanks are no longer playing half-court. The backboards are once again complete thanks to the School Board.
“Opportunities like this remind you why you volunteer your time to serve the District,” Ballew said.