Renovations on the Sterlington middle gymnasium have now been completed and the gym has top-of-the-line amenities from the ceiling to the floor. And every instructional classroom has been equipped with smart board technology.
Chris Cox, SMS principal, said the gym renovations costed over $2 million and thanks the financial aid of some athlete's parents in helping equip the weight room.
“We have not yet received the weight equipment, but we will have it before school begins,” Cox said. “It is a beautiful facility that the community can be proud of.”
As for the smart boards in the classroom, Cox said that every classroom in Ouachita Parish now has one or will soon.
“The smart boards have touch screens and Internet access,” he said. “Teachers can pre-develop their lessons, show videos and use already prepared lesson plans through collaboration. Students can also use the touch screen to work problems and solve equations.”
Cox said he encourages teachers to use online Twitter accounts to access other professionals in order to collaborate and branch out.
David Parks, SMS athletic director, said the parents of some of the athletes are to thank for some of the weight room equipment.
Cox said there has been a “financial crunch” lately in the school systems that spurred Parks to approach football players parents and ask for financial help.
Budget constraints not only compelled Parks to ask for financial help, but Cox said he was forced to “let go of” two employees due to the Ouachita Parish school system cuts.
“Every school in the parish had to make two to six personnel cuts,” he said. “It was very painful for me.”
Because of the financial hurdles, Parks and another coach asked parents for support.
“Coach Parks and Coach Gay approached our football parents and told them we were in a bind and the parents came through,” he said. “It was amazing and humbling to see.
“Sometimes you don't know how much people appreciate you until you give them the opportunity to show it. And they certainly did.”