David Broyles Staff Reporter
December 3, 2013
DOBSON —Amy Knopf was named as The Surry County Schools Teacher of Excellence for Exceptional Children at the regular meeting of the board Monday night.
“She is a superb teacher at East Surry High School and stands out as a leader in the school,” said Director of Communications, Instructional Media, and Teacher Quality Sonia Dickerson. “She is the perfect liaison between school and community because she knows the business owners and makes sure she matches the students to a business where they will be successful and learn to be responsible citizens.”
Knopf’s efforts to help students establish a concession stand for home volleyball games was praised. She said students learned math, budgeting, and entrepreneurial skills by planning for inventory, calculating their profit, interacting with customers, and counting change.
“Knopf is open-minded and truly believes her students can accomplish dreams. She wants them to reach their full potential and believes students cannot only graduate from high school, but also from college,” said Dickerson.
Tony Reece was named as the Surry County Schools December Employee of the Month. Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves said Reece is the finance officer and administrative assistant at Mountain Park and has served the system in multiple roles for 25 years.
“From early morning to late night, Mr. Reece can be found at school completing paperwork, making copies and paying bills,” said Reeves. “His professionalism is exemplary. His knowledge, patience and kindness are gifts that he shares on a daily basis.” Reeves received a $50 gift certificate from this month’s business partner, Simmons Nissan. Dickerson also praised the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation for helping with the recognition program.
Any full-time or part-time employee of the Surry County Schools may be nominated for the Surry County Schools Employee of the Month. Guidelines for nomination include the employee must demonstrate excellence in his/her job, collaboration and have made a significant contribution to the school, school district and students.
The coard congratulated Wanda Mitchell, director of finance, who announced her retirement effective Dec. 31. Mitchell has been the director of finance for more than 25 years. Dickerson said Mitchell is highly respected for her conservative fiscal practices that have positioned the Surry County School System to be successful even during difficult economic times.
“I appreciate the honor and opportunity I’ve had for almost 26 years. It’s been a wonderful journey,” said Mitchell, who received a standing ovation from all present at the meeting.
The Surry County Board of Education thanked Pam Simmons for her service to Surry County Schools. Simmons has been employed with Surry County Schools for more than 19 years in various departments and for the past seven years and has served as the assistant to the superintendent and board of education. Simmons leaves the system to work in the finance department of the Mount Airy City Schools. Emily Stroud will serve as the new assistant to the superintendent and the board.
Director of Accountability and Technology Jeff Tunstall asked the Board of Education to approve the replacement of teacher laptops on a regular and sustainable schedule beginning with middle school teachers in the 2013-14 school year, followed by high school teachers in 2014-15, and elementary teachers in 2015-16. Following the 2016-17 school year, the replacement cycle would begin again.
He said Board of Education and Central Office laptop replacement will occur as needed throughout the cycle. Tunstall told the board the student 1:1 laptop initiative, now in its fifth year, is a state-wide model for delivering 21st century education to students.
“The time has come, however, to begin replacement of the hardware we assign to students as part of the initiative,” said Tunstall. “We believe that Google Chromebooks are the best choice of laptop as we begin the replacement of our student machines in middle school.”
Tunstall said factors in this decision included the district’s move to Google Apps for Education, the system’s commitment to the information management software Haiku, the simplicity of networking and the maintenance compared to current Windows-based devices.
The board approved posting of an Request For Quotations (RFQ) for the replacement of current middle school laptops with Chromebooks according to a regular and sustainable schedule beginning with seventh grade machines in the 2013-14 school year, followed by an additional grade each year. The replacement of high school devices will be addressed at a later time.
Boy Scouts of America Troop 505 member and Surry Central student Hugh Atkinson’s request to install a flagpole at the baseball field for his Eagle Scout Project was also approved by the board. East Surry High School and the East Surry Athletic Department’s request to build brick backstops with new nets and new dugouts at the baseball field was approved.
Board members Brian Moser, Sue Stone, Clark Goings and Chairman Earlie Coe were recognized for their participation in the North Carolina School Board Association Academy. Stone received Scholars Circle Certification which is the highest honor for academy participants with more than 900 hours of active service. Coe was presented the Award of Distinction, Moser was given the certificate of merit and Goings received a certificate of achievement.
During the Superintendent’s report Reeves told the board the County Lego League Tournament will be held at Surry Community college on Dec. 14 in the School’s gym with the robot challenges portion of the competition beginning at around 1 p.m.
Contact David Broyles at email@example.com or 336-719-1952.