School board planning meeting focuses on ‘heart’

David Broyles

June 3, 2014

PILOT — Leadership lessons from icebergs and biology were included in the Surry County’s Board of Education’s annual planning meeting Tuesday afternoon at The Pilot Center.

Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves told participants this year’s meeting had a heart theme with sessions titled “Touching the Heart,” “Heart and Soul and “Pump it Up.” Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe, Vice Chairman Brian Gates and board members Brian Moser, Clark Goings and Sue Stone participated as well as incoming members Dr. Terri Mosley and Mamie Sutphin.

“Everything is about the heart. It’s about leadership. The role of a leader is to help others win,” said Reeves. He pointed out this year’s text, “The Heart of Leadership” by Mark Miller was a continuation of last year’s inspirational planning session book, “The Secret,” which was also written by Miller.

Surry Central student Ben Journey, his mother Donna, and guitar teacher Barry Scott performed a Christian song centered on having a servant’s heart with a unique version of “Folsom Prison Blues,” crafted by Scott to allow Ben to play the song in church.

“Ben had learned a few guitar chords but couldn’t find a teacher who was comfortable working with an autistic child,” said Donna Journey. “I think God puts people in our path to help us. Barry agreed to be his teacher and Ben’s done it. He has learned to play and soon we will be going into the studio to record some songs. I think to be a leader you need a servant’s heart.” She said she also made good on a promise to buy her son a Gibson guitar.

Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Jill Reinhardt asked the board over the next few days to think about their “heart of leadership” as a board member and how to make that even stronger. She likened the difference between leadership skills and leadership character to an iceberg.

“We’re told 90 percent of the actual iceberg cannot be seen. It’s below water,” said Reinhardt. “Sometimes (the phrase) leadership character is not used as much as leadership skills. Skills don’t matter without character. That’s really who you are.” She lead the board in an activity where they put traits suggested by the word “heart” on paper and attached them to an iceberg sculpture made by art students at North Surry High School.

Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Scott told the board the book had helped her to slow down in a world where it has become easy to let workload force people into one-word answers and that no matter what is done it doesn’t matter unless you show who you are in the process.

County Schools Science Coordinator Jeff Edwards led the group in an exercise using modeling clay, cotton balls, a medicine dropper, a straw and water to better understanding the heart moving blood through the body.

““I will use that old adage that has been around so long I don’t know who first said it. Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I’ll understand,” said Edwards. “If I can get a student engaged ( in a subject), the more opportunities, experience and learning will take place. The analogy is this, we are bringing in students from all across the county. They are like red blood cells coming into the system and being pumped out to the lungs.”

He said instead of oxygen, which is necessary for the body, students bet knowledge and learning before they graduate into the world and that is why education is important for everyone. He said the heart is a muscle and the more they use there the stronger it will get.

Other topics in the first day of the planning meeting included a discussion of the Smart Lunch program, an update on career and technical education and customizing educational pathways digital content.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.