September 1, 2020 Lake Butler Rotary Club Meeting Review

Ted Barber

Following another excellent fellowship and lunch, Club President Shane Collins had our meal blessed by Brian Reagan, the Pledge of Allegiance lead by Joe Stephenson and the opening song orchestrated by Dave Mecusker.

President Collins called for our Club’s Secretary Brian Reagan to provide the “Did You Know?” Question. Bobby Fisher became the first American “Grandmaster of Chess” by beating Boris Spassky in 1972. No Club member came up with the correct year.

Ted Barber introduced Chris Mecusker, Principal of the Union County High School by saying “Chris Mecusker is the son of our fellow Rotarian and 1996 past Club president David Mecusker. Both David and his wife Patricia are retired former DOC Wardens and David served 7 1/2 years as the Lake Butler City Manager. Chris is married and has four children two of which are old enough to be in the Lake Butler Elementary School. His wife is the Principal of Westside Elementary School in Starke.

Chris served his Lord and his Church on a two-year mission to Ecuador following his UCHS graduation. He earned his bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University, his Master of Arts from Florida A&M and a Specialist of Education from the University of West Florida. Chris is within a couple years of earning his Doctorate of Education. He has worked in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, studied Spanish culture, language and history at the University of Alcala in Madrid, Spain, and coached football, basketball and golf. His is the only administrator in the district that has administrative experience at all four levels- elementary, middle, high school and adult school. Chris left the UC Middle School as the principal to become the Union County High School Principal in July 2020.

In 1997 Chris, a Union County High School Student, was selected by the Lake Butler Rotary Club to attend the Rotary Leadership Conference in St. Augustine, Florida. He and Shamar Highland, a high school senior and Lake Butler Interact Club Member in 2017, are the only two students we have awarded a Lake Butler Rotary Club Summer Leadership scholarship since our Club was chartered in 1965. Both Chris and Shamar have since used and appreciated this leadership training.” Chris sees the number of quarantined students dropping well over 50% (presently at 104) this week with the implementation of the school’s safety guidelines. The mask, social distancing and hand washings are key to controlling the virus. He is looking forward to the UCHS scrimmage game this Thursday, September 3, 2020 with a Booster Club meal preceding the game staring at 5:30 PM. He mentioned that our HS Band will be limited to 160 at Newberry HS. The UCHS Homecoming will be against Interlocken HS on September 25 with the Theme, “Game On”. The Homecoming Parade will be earlier in the day with the military Veteran floats up front. He is planning a Veteran’s Day ceremony on the UCHS football field and may allow some students to sit in chairs on the track to allow social distancing. The student curriculum is shifting from a 100 % college bound preparation to include other than college (Sports media, marketing, graphic arts, illustrating and law enforcement to name a few alternatives). Live streaming for graduation, sporting events, classes to include banking with “Quick Books” experience, will be available. Chris agrees that we are experiencing an “Upside Down” environment but sees many positives surfacing.

Upcoming Programs: Sept 8- Mitchell Bishop, Sept 15- Kellie Rhoades, Sept 22- Nancy Griffis, Oct 6- Paul Lewis, Oct 13- Art Peterson, and Oct 20- Jack Schenck.

Please keep Sara Owen, and Marjorie Colburn in your prayers (fighting the virus). Also, pray for Nadine Faulk’s radiation treatments to eliminating cancer. Congratulations to Kellie and Jessie Rhoades for their recent marriage and for Kaleb and Kelsey Archer’s new baby.