Written by the JC Breakfast Optimist Club
JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — The JC Breakfast Optimist Club’s “Celebration of Optimism” was held on Wednesday at the Hampton Inn. Dr. Reginald Eggleston, Geary County Schools USD 475 superintendent, was the guest speaker and was also officially inducted into the JC Breakfast Optimist Club by President Don Manley.
As an inductee into the Optimist Club, Dr. Eggleston was asked to share information about himself during an activity titled “Getting To Know Our Optimist Club Members.” He shared that he supervises 18 schools and is responsible for the academic and social-emotional learning of over 7,000 students. Prior to this position, he served as chief administrative officer (CAO) over state intervention for the Alabama State Department of Education. He has been a Special Education teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, director of special education and student services, and assistant superintendent over federal and special programs and schools.
The Geary County Schools superintendent is also a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves with 31 years of military experience. He has serviced in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Dr. Eggleston currently serves as the Deputy Commanding Officer (DCO) for the 1st “Frontier” Brigade (PD), 104th Training Division, Aurora, CO.
Dr. Eggleston also told the Optimist Club members that COVID-19 has had an impact on education and with the military and he believes that “we have not seen the end of that impact.” Perhaps “something good that will come from all of this is that we will appreciate what we have; we will appreciate our life, our families, and our friends more. USD 475 has great people.”
In reflecting on some of the proposed legislation, Dr. Eggleston said “We need to create our own report card on how we will be graded and not be told by legislators” the things on which schools should be evaluated. With all that goes on in social media, the news, and social distancing, we need to be optimistic and be positive influences on our youth. We need to invest in our youth and be purposeful and positive with a focus on all that is good in our lives. Encourage others.”
In closing, Dr. Eggleston reminded Club members that “the teacher shortage is not new. This has been a concern for many years. We need to look at growing our own to respond to the great resignation.”
The JC Breakfast Optimist Club will have a fundraiser at JC’S BBQ & Grill on Monday, Feb. 14, from 11:00 a.m. until closing. 10% of purchases and donations will go to the JC Breakfast Optimist Club to support 17 different Geary County youth organizations.
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