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South Adams Schools Superintendent Scott Litwiller, during his state of the schools address at a Berne Chamber of Commerce meeting this week, said, "You've no doubt heard the African proverb 'It takes a whole village to raise a child. Likewise, it takes an entire community to educate its youth."
Litwiller explained that the community partners with the schools through PTO, music and athletic boosters and by attending school events such as open houses, fundraisers, athletic and music activities, and by volunteering.
The local police also partner with the schools. According to Litwiller, the Berne Police Department is always willing to lend its support, while the Geneva Police Department has supplied the district with a school resource officer for the past three years. "Both departments have been vitally important," he said.
Additionally, Litwiller said, "Both the Berne and Geneva fire departments partner with us to provide life-saving programs about fire safety."
Litwiller noted that Geneva volunteer firefighters recently were at the school in less than two minutes following a false alarm set off by a student. He added that the fire trucks were at the school just a few minutes after the volunteers. "I apologize for the false alarm, but it was amazing to witness their quick response," Litwiller said.
"I'm also compelled to mention that the schools have partners who regularly pray for the students and the staff," said Litwiller. "These prayers are needed; these prayers are appreciated, and these prayers are powerful."
The superintendent concluded his address by saying that he believes in Berne. "I also believe in Geneva and the entire South Adams community. I also believe in Adams Central, North Adams and the entire county. On the athletic field, the Starfires are fierce competitors with the Jets and the Braves, but off the field, we are educators, colleagues and even friends, working to make Adams County a better place. It is my privilege to work with the people of the community and the county."