Thinking about students, elders

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY – Asked what was on her mind as the 2012 election looms, New Albany Elementary School third-grade teacher Lacey Stebbins thought first about her students.
The second-year educator spoke of her desire to use the presidential election to teach them. She described a project in which her class is using the Internet to have regular discussions with students in Selmer, Tenn., about the election and the candidates.
As for herself, Stebbins is still trying to learn more about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. She is most interested in education and health care.
“I’d like to see more resources for teachers,” she said. “We are trying to use as much technology as we can.
“Our health plan is a big issue for the young and the old. I’m looking for a president who will stand behind their word on a health plan.”
Stebbins wasn’t alone in her concern for those two issues. Kindergarten teacher Cynthia Parks, 43, suffers from neurosarcoidosis, a chronic illness, and likes Obama’s health care reform plan. She also is concerned about her parents receiving their Social Security.
“I have parents about to be eligible for Social Security, and I want to be sure they get it,” she said. “I probably won’t get mine, but I want to be sure they are taken care of and they can be provided with good health care.”
Meanwhile, Amy Welborn, who teaches third-grade gifted classes at the 1,100-student kindergarten through fifth grade school, is worried about Obama’s plan.
“I don’t want a socialized health care system,” she said.
Welborn, whose husband owns a small business, considers herself an independent voter.
“I’m either a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal,” she said, noting she believes government programs should help people help themselves.
Welborn, 39, would also like to see more funding for early childhood education, so students are better prepared to enter school. Parks also would like to see funding for more resources for teachers.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com