Governor Winter looking for “heroes” amongst JCJC’s Honor College

Written By: Teresa Martin
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Date Submitted: 2012-11-13 09:51:36

ELLISVILLE – Former Mississippi Governor, William Winter recently visited with Jones County Junior College’s Honor College students, discussing the policies of his era and reminding them of their heritage. Rhetorically, he asked, “Where have all the heroes gone?” and answered his question with the reply, “We’re looking in all the wrong places!” Winter told students about the college’s second president, J.B. Young and his brave decision to allow the football team to play on the national level in the 1952 Jr. Rose Bowl because he did not want to deny students of the opportunity. Crossing racial lines invited tremendous pressure, Winter reminded Jones students, and Young set a standard for JCJC and for future leaders.
“Wherever you go, you carry a little bit of JCJC in you. Don’t forget you will reflect on this college. Be proud of this college and don’t do anything that would diminish its reputation,” he challenged students.  “You have a tradition to maintain in a world where everyone is looking for the most prepared college graduate, with a proven record. I envy you today.”
The ‘education’ governor is remembered for the passage of the Mississippi Education Reform Act establishing public kindergartens. The 57th governor is also known for his support of freedom of information, racial reconciliation and historic preservation. Answering questions from students, Winter admitted that as a state, Mississippi still has room for improvement in racial and educational matters. 
“The next step in educational reform is establishing a pre-Kindergarten program that is mandated and funded. We’re short-changing a lot of kids who don’t get the stimulus at home,” Winter said. “Eighty percent of the brain is formed in the first five years of life, when the capacity to learn is at its highest. Kindergarten is too late to be competitive.”
He added the drop-out rate and remedial education would be reduced greatly. JCJC freshmen Courtney Jones of Quitman agrees with Winter on the pre-K program and sees the benefits.
“Babies are our future. Exposing them to educational ideas is better than what some environments kids try to thrive in,” said Jones.
Another piece of advice Winter shared with Jones students has drawn negative criticism lately in national politics. Compromise is essential in Winter’s ‘book of success.’
“None of us have all the answers,” Winter boldly shared with students. “We have to learn how to work with each other, based on our life experiences and we have to learn from each other.”
His final reminder to these future leaders, Winter encouraged Jones students, “Be worthy of trust. Don’t just do for self.”


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