The Central Virginian

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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 9:52 am

By Andrew Woolfolk

The mark of a great wordsmith is someone who is concise. You need to be able to craft your words in a way that they don’t go over someone’s head, yet at the same time they need to get your point across.

I’ve noticed that Louisa County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit is pretty darn good with words. I looked back at some of her best quotes, and they register at just three word each.

Back when the 2011 Mineral Earthquake quite literally rattled our world, Pettit shook us all back to reality with her message to citizens just hours later.

“We will recover.”

And recover we did. Certainly, the damage was severe in some places, but take a look around you. When that new high school building goes up next year, no one driving through would have a clue to the destruction that was so prevalent three years ago.

Now, flash forward to a few months after the earthquake, when the decision was made to demolish the old Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and Louisa County High School. Once again, Pettit was there with her trifecta of toughness.

“We will rebuild.”

And rebuild we did, too. I had the privilege of attending the open house of the beautiful new TJES building. I talked with wide-eyed children in between their sprints through the spacious new library. It’s funny to think that a majority of the students heading back to that school haven’t experienced having a bathroom, much less a library, down the hall. I talked with teachers who nearly cried at the thought of having a classroom with enough space again.

To read the entire story, see the July 31 edition of The Central Virginian.