What are you grateful for? Last fall there was a Facebook post (author unnamed) that proudly shared she was grateful for her fellow Graysonites that “do life with me” . It was that declaration of thankfulness that inspired our city leaders to host the Grayson Meet & Greet, where community leaders have the opportunity to interact and share what makes Grayson just so great.
…and Grayson is Great was definitely the theme of the night! With city government, council, school administration and other leaders in full attendance, there was much ground to cover. The major themes of the night centered around growth, community, and quality education.
Grayson is GROWING
Allison Wilkerson, Grayson’s City Mayor, kicked off the night talking us through the great growth that Grayson is currently experiencing, citing impressive stats that included 198 businesses (45 of which are home-based). With 2800 residents, 951 households, 266 building permits between last year and this year combined, and new homes being built in 5 separate subdivisions it’s safe to say Grayson is definitely growing.
Allison went on to share details on the beautiful new Grayson Clocktower that truly demonstrates how Grayson celebrates its past while embracing the future. You can read more about how the new clocktower ties in to our schools, architecture and history by clicking [here].
Grayson is COMMUNITY
Gail Lane was next up, our Director of Community Development. Gail was a big burst of personality and comedic relief, smiling as she tried to get her mic fully setup saying “somebody sing, I’ll be right back!” Her lighthearted and often funny delivery was focused on highlighting the many great things Grayson has to offer. From dinners and music at the park to Grayson Days, Gail had plenty to talk about. She hit on all the big ones (Grayson Blues and Brews Festival, Christmas in July, and the much anticipated Gimme Shelter event in June), but also talked about some new things that will soon be available to our little community. Walkable routes, where you can map your walk and meet your neighbors are coming sooner rather than later. On Grayson Days there will be a grand re-opening at the Arts and History Center that will showcase both local artists work and the story of Grayson’s original families. She said she’s always planning something because she doesn’t sleep at night… and I believe her. Make sure you check out and like Get Into Grayson’s facebook page (click here) to try and keep up with all Gail is planning for our community.
Before moving on, we were able to hear more about the Grayson Children’s Fund, a locally driven and run charity in which the proceeds 100% go to Grayson Children in need. You can click [here] to read more about The Grayson Children’s fund covered in an earlier post.
Grayson is QUALITY EDUCATION
Next up was Grayson High Schools principal – Mr Dana Pugh. Before he really got into his message, he first he introduced us to a GHS student speaker, Christy Helms. Now in her senior year, Christy spoke eloquently about her high school experience thus far, citing how Mr Pugh has been a catalyst for positive change at the school. She specifically talked about the idea of being plugged in, engaged and cared for is now an embraced philosophy at GHS, not just at the student level but all the way through the administration. She spoke of changes implemented at the school (for example, no headphones allowed in hallways or classrooms, people have to interact) and how although change is uncomfortable, it was for the best of the student body in its entirety and the changes are evident daily. She talked about strength in our diversity and how Mr Pugh really drove home the idea that Grayson really is GREAT.
Dana Pugh then spoke to the standing-room only crowd, but not before acknowledging all the school officials in the room from ALL the schools around Grayson. He gave great care to give credit to the staff for the positive changes and accomplishments that Grayson High School is embracing. He talked about amazing scholarships and achievements that GHS students are earning, where we are now, and where we will be in the future. Grayson High School is doing well, but Mr Pugh wanted to put other schools on notice… they’re going to continue to grow, change, and excel. Make room at the top of the list, GHS is headed that way.
They then started wrapping up tonights Meet & Greet with a brief Q&A. Questions mostly centered on the Main St initiative and the coming-soon Amphitheater (or Ampavillion). More to come on both these initiatives as ideas turn into plans and proposals. They also talked about the construction mystery at Highway 20 and Herring Road (click here to read more on that story). They closed out the night letting us know there would be more of these to come (dates TBD). As a Grayson Local and member of the community, I would recommend stopping by and hearing what is happening in our amazing little community. Grayson really is Great.