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July 10th, 2008
Rotarians introduce Knights Program to San Marcos Schools

The Rotary Club of San Marcos speaker Wednesday was Randall Parr with the EarlyAct First Knights of the Guild Program. The meeting was led by President David Bandy,  and the group had its best attendance in the last two months for this special presentation and luncheon.

SMCISD Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer and Rick LaBuhn, Principal of Crockett Elementary, were on hand to learn more about this new educational effort.  EarlyAct FirstKnight is a character and ethics education program for K-8 school children that, for the first time, puts Rotary into the classroom everyday.  Encompassing the historic theme of noble knights and Rotary values, EarlyAct FirstKnight augments Rotary’s original EarlyAct service club with a daily, year-round curriculum-based character education course.

EarlyAct FirstKnight is sponsored by local Rotary clubs and chartered by Rotary Districts. Developed by Knights of The Guild and Rotarians of District 5840, the program educates students, families and faculty members about Rotary history, values and ideals throughout the year.

Parr spoke about how we cannot expect young people to demonstrate good character and ethics if they have none to offer. He stated that children today are suffering from an epidemic that will have a devastating impact upon our world if left unattended. It is called ethical impairment.

Parr went on to explain ethical impairment reveals itself through symptoms like dishonesty, irresponsibility, disrespect, hatred, jealousy, greed, and indifference to others. The EarlyAct FirstKnight progam claims ethical impairment also leads to anti-social behaviors and conditions such as violent crime, poverty, substance abuse, deception, ignorance, dependency, immorality, and even the new phenomenon of cyber-bullying.

He said for example, some children are now planning and videotaping violent attacks on others and posting them on popular websites such as YouTube.

Parr said,” The kids that get involved (in the program) are great; we can help shape these kids.” He talked about local kids being noble and honorable in character and we want to change the next generation.”

Curriculum lessons for EarlyAct First Knights of the Guild will be divided by grades K-5: Tolerance, Responsibility, Confidence, Perseverance, Discipline, Respect, Honesty, Compassion, Friendliness, and Service. Grades 6-8 will feature: Prowess, Justice, Loyalty, Defense, Courage, Faith, Humility, Nobility, and Franchise.

San Marcos Rotarian advisers will lead bimonthly 30-minute service clubs on campus that provide mentoring and practical community avenues of application that show kids how to use and experience their newfound character virtues in a real-world environment.

Dr. Patty Shafer noted, “This program seems to have promise, it looks like it works.”

The Rotarian of the week was Robert Charles (R.C.) White, he is married to his wife Rosemary and they have one child, Christian and one grandson, Charlie. White is a retired CPA. He stays involved with Microsoft as MVP (Most Valuable Professional) – on-line and at Annual Global Summit. He is also a member of taxation committees of California and Oklahoma CPA societies. He served as president of CPA Society Chapter and Estate Planning Council. His greatest memory as a child is climbing Goat’s Bluff & fishing in Holson Creek at the foot of the Bluff.

White says his greatest achievement in the business world has been helping clients sell their companies so that they can retire. He says his best (work-related) advice he received and would like to share is, “Make your deposits in person so the banker always sees you bringing in money.”

From Staff Reports

Special thanks to Diane Riojas for her contribution to this story.


The San Marcos Rotarians were all smiles at the start of their meeting.


Randall Parr with the EarlyAct First Knights of the Guild Program.


SMCISD Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer and Rick LaBuhn, Principal of Crockett Elementary. were on hand to learn more about this new Rotary education program.

Staff Photos

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