Mount Airy Middle hosts Give Back to the Community

David Broyles Staff Reporter

October 11, 2013

Mount Airy Middle School (MAMS) students, grateful for support from the community, were the driving force behind the school’s first “MAMS Gives Back to the Community Day” luncheon held Thursday in the school media center.

“The community has always been so good to help us with whatever we have asked,” said Principal Susan Bunch. “Recently the (Mount Airy) Police Department helped set up a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) at the last minute for us. The way the city steps forward for us is really like something off of an episode of Mayberry. Our Student Government Association (SGA) wanted to do something back. They know you just don’t take. You have to give back, so they wanted to thank everyone for helping us thorough the years.”

Bunch said groups invited to the luncheon included the MAPD and Fire Departments, School District central office personnel, Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little, Mayor Deborah Cochran’s office, City Commissioners and South Data. SGA President Elizabeth Marion, Vice President Simon Cawley, Secretary Maggie Cooke, Treasurer Nabyant Wagner, Reporter Reece Watson and Sergeant at Arms Meredith Marion took turns recognizing groups and individuals.

“As an eighth grader at Mount Airy Middle School, I have experienced first hand the continuous support of the Mount Airy community,” said Marion to the audience. “Every year our SGA works very hard to complete many service projects throughout the school year because we know the importance of giving back to our community.”

She recognized Mount Airy Board of Education Chairman Wendy Carriker and school board members Kate Appler, Mike Hiatt, Ben Cooke, Tim Matthews, Amy Bledsoe and Phil Thacker.

“As you can see we have a lot to be thankful for at Mount Airy Middle school, and that’s because of you,” said Marion. “We truly appreciate all you do for us from the bottom of our hearts. Remember. We are MAMS, where integrity guides us, motivation leads us and success follows us.”

Watson thanked Cochran and Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Steve Yokeley. She also recognized the support of Reeves Community Center’s Catrina Alexander and Darren Lewis for sponsoring a program which brought Liberty University basketball players to the area for a basketball fundraiser. Proceeds from the event went to support the Hungry Bears Backpack program. She also thanked American Legion Post 123 for the donation of a flagpole for the school.

Cawley thanked Police Chief Dale Watson, school resource officer Stacy Inman, Captain Alan Freeman, Captain Richard Lowe, Officer Ray Ardner and Lt. Kelly Hiatt.

“Thank you for teaching us to stay away from drugs and alcohol and for helping to keep our school safe,” said Cawley to Watson and his officers. “I want to thank Fire Marshal Chris Fallaw, Fire Chief Poindexter and other fire captains for helping keep us safe as well.”

Maggie Cooke recognized robotics mentors from South Data who work with students every school day. Mentors she honored included John Springthorpe, Tracey Webster, Joan Inman, Tina Williams, Matilda Radcliffe and Alan Connolly as well as Tanya Jones and the Surry Arts Council for programs they provide yearly to the school.

Wagner honored “many businesses in our community who give us tremendous support year after year” in addition to AES and Steve Cooke.

The luncheon concluded with the MAMS Show Choir performing three songs ending in the song Halleluhjah from the movie Shrek arranged by Roger Emerson. Assistant Principal Jennifer Freeman gave the closing remarks for the luncheon.

Reach David Broyles at or 336-719-1952.