Parent named top volunteer

Published: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 11:59 p.m.

Overcrowding at High Springs Elementary School this year has kept parents, faculty and the School Board of Alachua County engaged in hearty discussions.

When community members made vocal their opposition to rezoning as a solution to the problem, the School Board decided to combine HSES campus with its neighbor, Spring Hill Middle School, to deal with overcrowding.

Throughout it all, Layne Knight, parent and school volunteer, worked tirelessly to organize forums and attend meetings, while remaining calm and cool under pressure while the School Board considered its options.

For that reason and several hundred more, HSES chose her as its Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. The School Board agreed and named her the district's outstanding volunteer for her dedication to the school community.

Not only is Knight the president of PTA, she serves on the school's SAC and is the school's volunteer coordinator.

"I'm at school every day, almost all day long," said Knight. "I do everything I can to help out in all areas of the school."

She and her husband, Kyle, moved to High Springs in 1993. Their two sons, T.J. and Josh, are in third and second grades, respectively. She began volunteering at HSES four years ago when T.J. began school. Despite physical hardships caused from two strokes in 2001, Knight remains a tireless supporter of anything having to do with the school.

Not a new idea

Even though the rezoning issue is dead, the issue of combining the two High Springs campuses is not. High Springs Elementary School Principal Jeff Means and Spring Hill Middle School Principal Holt Browning have been meeting regularly to try to determine some of the major issues involved in having grades kindergarten through eighth in one school.

They hope to meet with School Board staff by the end of the month for direction on various issues, the name of the school, finances, scheduling, staffing and curriculum. Each school is scheduled for major renovations in the coming years, some of it funded and some of it nearly completed.

HSES campus was the recipient of the first of the projects under the new master building plan. By Feb. 1, the new eight-room building should be ready for teachers and students to move in. The new facility will replace eight of the nine portables on campus.

Patricia C. Behnke can be reached at pcbwrites@aol.com or (352) 222-2508.

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