Crowe impresses as student school board representative

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By Scotty McDaniel

If you know Shelby County High School sports, then you probably know Austin Crowe.


A junior at SCHS, Crowe is a manager on the football, basketball and baseball teams. He enjoys his duties so much that he hopes to continue them at the next level.

"I'm managing three sports, so I'm constantly in sports," he said. "I'd love to get into the medical field or in sports equipment, to go to college and be a manager."

But on Thursday he replaced his typical sideline wear with a spiffy suit and tie, switched from high fives to handshakes, and took a seat not on a bench but alongside the school board as its new student representative.

"I thought I could come on board and help them see the students' perspective," he said.

Crowe, who is also class president and involved with numerous other school and church groups, wasted little time getting his feet wet in this latest endeavor.

When superintendent James Neihof shared estimates that it would take approximately $1.5 million to get all school classrooms up to date with the Intelligent Classroom technology, Crowe wanted clarity.

"In my school I use this every single day. All my teachers love it, and we use it every day," he said. "But is this $1.5 million including Martha Layne Collins [Hihg School]?"

Neihof couldn’t help but smile. He and the board were thrilled with Crowe's impressive attention to detail.

"That's a very good question," Neihof said. "Martha Layne Collins has IC classrooms included in their construction costs."

Board member Doug Butler added, "That's a great question. That's the question I have written down right here.”

Board member Brenda Jackson noted that the question she was about to raise was whether the technology was helpful to students, and that Crowe had answered her concern, too.

Yet to anyone who listened to his campaign leading up to his appointment on the board, his early contributions shouldn't be a surprise.

"Like I said in my speech, I'm not afraid to give my opinion," he said.

And so went the night of Crowe's first board meeting. There was no feeling out period. He listened attentively and contributed his thoughts where he deemed appropriate.

The meeting stretched on and didn't end until 9:30 p.m. -- on a school night, no less.

"Part of the job," Crowe said with a smile.