Board focuses on awards, recognitions

David Broyles Staff Reporter

January 8, 2014

DOBSON — The regular meeting of the Surry County Board of Education opened with recognition of the participation in Mount Airy Christmas Parade.

According to presenter Sonia Dickerson, the system had three entries lined up together, the “Magic School Bus,” the “Teachers of the Year: Past and Present” float and the North Surry High School Marching Band.

Participants on the Teachers of the Year: Past and Present float recognized included Callie Smith (82-83), Susan Gentry (86-87), Andy Simpson (88-89), Nancy Downs (92-93), Terri Mosley (95-96), Debbie Howlett (02-03), Jimmy Marion (04-05), Debbie Hunter (05-06), Tanya Key (08-09), Jamie Martin (12-13) and Pedro Caro (13-14). The North Surry High School band under the direction of Blake McCraw, performance will also be honored.

Dickerson told the board the float won the Spirit Award in the parade and set a goal to become the grand marshals of this year’s parade with more teachers on the float, and more parade entries.

Surry County Schools Child Nutrition Director Sherri Parks and staffers were honored for being recognized at the annual Fall Conference in Raleigh sponsored by the NC Department of Public Instruction — Child Nutrition Services Division. Dickerson told the group the child nutrition programs at Shoals Elementary and Copeland Elementary were recognized for their contribution to the Zone Health grant awards provided through NC Prevention Partners.

The County Child Nutrition program was also honored for participating in the No Kid Hungry Breakfast Challenge. All schools participated in the challenge and the purpose of the challenge was to increase breakfast participation throughout the district.

“Schools were encouraged to implement alternative breakfast programs to help strengthen communities by providing healthy, reliable meals for children at risk of hunger,” said Dickerson. ” Sponsors for this initiative include NC Department of Public Instruction, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, and Communities In Schools of North Carolina.”

She explained the SCS Child Nutrition Services goal is to fight morning hunger through traditional and alternative breakfast programs like the Universal Free Breakfast program. This effort is in all eleven elementary schools and Meadowview Middle School. Participating students receive a free, nutritious breakfast every school day. The Second Chance Breakfast program is also offered in the high schools. In this program, students have two opportunities to eat breakfast before school and at morning break.

Principal Diane Bean and Assistant Principal Regina Barbour accepted certificates recognizing East Surry High School for being named a Signature School by the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium.

Dickerson said East has a ranking of 19th among the best North Carolina High Schools by the US News & World Report. This includes a college readiness score indicating 32 percent of ESHS seniors take Advanced Placement exams with a 23 percent passing rate. East Surry is also a Positive Behavior Intervention Support high school soon to be recognized at the state level as a Model School.

Additionally, East Surry has recently joined the ranks of New Schools Partner Schools in an i3 grant working with first generation college-going sophomores enabling them to earn college credit while in high school. Accomplishment for this high school is a graduation rate of 98.4 percent ranking them among the elite high schools in North Carolina.

Tracy Pendry, STEM Coach for the Surry County Schools, was presented with the Kenan Fellows Program at the National Science Conference in Charlotte in November. Pendry was selected to be a Kenan Fellow in the spring of 2011 for the 2012 cohort. She collaborated with Jasmin Feimster, a biology instructor at Surry Community College, during a summer internship where she wrote lesson plans. Dickerson said the academic fellowship lasted one year and provided her with invaluable training on instructional techniques and leadership.

Andy Hull and Surry Telephone Membership Corporation donated $1,007 from the annual Turkey Trot Run event to the Surry County Schools Backpack program.

The board was told the fall school employee campaign for the Surry County Schools Education Foundation has ended and Educational Foundation Liaison Melissa White told the group approximately $13,970 was raised for county schools and $20,981 had been raised for the United Way. She said the total collected for the campaigns was $34,951.96.

White explained those contributing $100 or more were entered into a drawing to drive a Nissan Altima for 30 days courtesy of Simmons Nissan. Simmons Nissan Representative Ben Lawson made the official presentation to drawing winner Emily Summey.

School Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves named Rita Clendenin as the County Schools Employee of the Month. He explained Clendenin had 26 years in the school system and cited her service and devotion to students as Shoals Elementary Cafeteria Manager. Clendenin received a $50 gift certificate. The award is sponsored by Simmons Nissan.

Reach David Broyles at or 336-719-1952.