Good Schools Build Stronger Communities

Seven years ago, my husband and I were looking to buy a house. We fell in love with Stuart Heights, but heard a lot about the zoned school (Rivermont Elementary) and how if we had kids, we couldn’t send them there. We bought the house anyway and watched as families who had loved our neighborhood fled to different school districts as soon as they had kids.

Last year, a group of us (about half with kids, half without) decided to invest our time and energy into our school, instead of either complaining or bailing out. We started the Rivermont School Fan Club, met with school leadership to determine how we could contribute, won a grant from Causeway for seed funding, and haven’t looked back.

I am excited to see the work being done on the Chattanooga 2.0 project and the increased focus on our public schools — if you’re not involved, you can’t imagine the amazing work these teachers and administrators are doing. I would encourage everyone in Hamilton County — even those like me who don’t have children in our local school system — to get engaged. Good schools build stronger communities — and that’s something all of us should support.

Dawn Hjelseth

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