When Donna Snively Hulsey found out in July 1989 that she'd be the first principal of a state-of-the-art elementary school, she teamed up with the community and got to work.
It didn't matter that the school in Jacksonville, Florida, would not open until the fall of 1990: Before the first steel girder of Alimacani Elementary School was erected, the community began to spread a positive image of the school.
Within seven years of opening, the school was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School and a National Safe and Drug-Free School, and accordingly was honored twice by the president of the United States at the White House.
Redbook magazine named Alimacani the top school in Florida for its "uncompromising commitment to excellence in school and community partnerships." Three Alimacani teachers were individually tapped as Duval Teacher of the Year, Florida Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and Florida Media Specialist of the Year.
Whether you're a parent, an educator wanting to fix problems at an existing school or establish a solid foundation at a new one, or a concerned citizen working on behalf of children, you'll find a blueprint for educational success in Rally Round the Flagpole.
Donna Snively Hulsey is an award-winning principal who has served America and its youth as a teacher, principal, and regional director in the Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate level courses. She has two children, five grandchildren, and lives in Jacksonville with her husband.
Chapter 1 In the Beginning There is no limit to the greatness of America. -President George W. Bush As far back as I can remember, my father raised Old Glory every day at sunrise and lowered her at sunset. He strategically erected the twenty-foot flagpole in our front yard. He surrounded it with a bed of flowering roses, petunias, pansies, or mums. Each was planted in accordance with its season. As far back as I can remember, my mother dressed my sister and me in red, white, and blue on one special day, and my father put us in the family car, carefully tucking a small American flag in our hand. It was Veterans Day, and we were off to the parade. The fourth of July followed with fireworks at the beach and patriotic sing-alongs at the boardwalk bandstand. Summer vacations were spent at historic Civil War sites in Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Appomattox. My father was from the north, and my mother was from the south. Both were 100 percent American patriots. My father was a World War II veteran who never spoke of the violence of war. He only spoke of his buddies and entertained us with humorous stories. Before he died, however, the stories and the laughter faded-replaced by tears as he recalled the horror and destruction of war. After his death, my family and I learned of his service medal with four bronze stars. My father's legacy includes a grandson who protects and ensures our freedoms in the role of police officer; a granddaughter who, as a nurse, gives tender care to the critically ill; a daughter who teaches her Sunday School class the ideals of freedom; and a daughter who has fanned the flame of freedom in patriotic programs and flag-raising ceremonies in America's schools, beginning at Arlington Heights.