People in Polk County know Chris Culver for his exterminating business and his service on the Board of Education.
Yet back in the late 1990’s when he was getting ready to finish his college education and begin down a path that would take him from student teaching in the classroom, life took him in an unexpected direction. He went from a West Georgia student to a young man focused on his career.
His time as a student came full circle in the past 18 months after Culver decided it was finally time to finish his education. Culver stood up during the November Board of Education work session to announce his degree is finished and to present his parents Bob and Joy with a long overdue diploma.
Though the workload wasn’t easy between running a business, family life, his service on the board and almost daily assignments to write, Culver said he enjoyed his time as a student again. He even got to study up on the origins of Polk County and gain a greater connection for his hometown.
“The whole education process has always intrigued me. I had great instructors through Liberty University,” Culver said. “It was time consuming over the past 18 months, but worth every minute of the process.”
He said the last few years on the board working with educators and the experience of teachers and staff continuing their own education provided the inspiration, and the expectation his parents had for him to finish school in years past when he was younger pushed him forward to complete the work.
“I knew that I should do it, I could do it and I wanted to do it,” he said. “I also had a lot of help. The educators around me never stopped helping me. Everyone was willing to lend a hand, and there was a group around me that held me accountable.”
Culver added that with his own son set to head off to school at Mississippi State for the Fall Semester of 2020, he wanted to set a positive example for his children as they go off to school themselves.
“My kids were able to watch me sit there and finish my education as they are out playing and having fun,” he said. “Take it from me, finish college while you’re young and have those expectations out of yourself. Dig deep and find a way to come through.”
He also hopes his new degree from Liberty University in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on history, philosophy and political science inspires others who dropped out and want to go back and finish their degree to take the steps.
“The educators and administration have inspired me so much, and I’m so honored to be a part of Polk School District,” Culver said. “I knew it was time. The time of excuses was over, and there was no sense. It was time to do it and finish it up.”
During the work session ceremony, Culver also challenged the rest of the district to continue to live up to the standards of excellence he believes students, teachers and even parents should have for themselves and others.
Culver charged educators during the presentation to “keep inspiring.”
“Someone is wathcing and listening. It might be a 45-year-old guy like me,” he added.
He added later that “this is something that we need to do in Polk County. Every family member needs to set expectations for their youth. No matter who you are, it makes no difference we need to all have the same expectations. We as the adult community need to hold our children accountable.”
Culver was praised by Superintendent Laurie Atkins and fellow board members for his efforts.
Though he won’t be returning back to class anytime soon, he does hope to see others take up his lead and hit the books.