Homecoming is our annual celebration of the bond between the Sedalia community and our school district.
Each year, Smith-Cotton High School alumni gather to reminisce and reconnect with old friends, renewing bonds that were created during their days in Sedalia 200 district classrooms. School board member Diana Nichols and the rest of the Sedalia School District Foundation do an outstanding job of organizing the events and helping alumni keep track of their classmates to welcome them home during this special time.
When I became superintendent of the Sedalia 200 district, one of my goals was to continue to strengthen the connection between our schools and the community. Based on the outpouring of Tiger Pride that was exhibited through all of the Homecoming events last weekend, I believe that bond is alive and well.
On Friday morning, the high school gym was packed with students as we celebrated the S-C JROTC unarmed drill team’s national championship. I was honored to present these fine men and women with championship rings to forever commemorate their commitment and accomplishment. That ceremony bridged right into the Homecoming pep assembly, which featured students and staff members taking part in fun competitions that helped build the anticipation for the football game later that night.
The S-C senior class gathered in the Heckart Performing Arts Center for the foundation’s recognition of this year’s Distinguished Alumni honoree, Dr. Diane Cordry Golden, who encouraged the students to become educated about current issues, work to help others and to get out and exercise their right to vote. Our students can learn a great deal from those who walked our hallways before them, and Dr. Golden provided words of wisdom for the Class of 2017.
A steady rain fell throughout the day on Friday. Despite the weather; people lined both sides of Ohio Avenue and enjoyed a parade that featured dozens of Sedalia 200 students and staff members, as well as alumni and many community groups. The large number that assembled and the enthusiasm that was on display were proof that the rain did not dampen anyone’s Tiger Pride.
The foundation’s free Tiger Tailgate included a performance by the Smith-Cotton Tiger Pride Marching Band. Workers from Kohl’s volunteered to serve hot dogs and hamburgers that were grilled by Sedalia 200 Board of Education members David Wolf and Kenny Coffelt. Our S-C Tigers sent the crowd home happy with a 31-13 win over Nevada in the Homecoming football game.
On Saturday morning, one of our connections to the community was on display, as the Sedalia Youth Football League played its games on the fields in front of Smith-Cotton High School. At S-C Junior High, the annual Pancake Breakfast was held and featured “future alumni” from our elementary and middle schools and junior high providing entertainment. Tours of the junior high and high school were available, and alumni and parents shared their positive impressions of our facilities and the education our district provides for Sedalia students.
Class of 1966 member Dr. Charlie Alexander told the Democrat’s Hope Lecchi: “The facilities are very well maintained … I didn’t appreciate it at the time but the quality of education that I received at Smith-Cotton was exceptional. I didn’t have a frame of reference for it then, but it is something that I truly appreciate now.”
Homecoming was special for so many people for so many different reasons. As Sedalia 200 superintendent, the weekend was proof that the connection between our district and our community is both strong and mutually beneficial. We will continue to prepare Sedalia students for the next phase of their lives, whether that is college, entering the military or joining the work force. We also will continue to welcome our alumni home each year and remind them why they are still proud to be a tiger.
Brad Politt is the superintendent of Sedalia School District 200.