City schools present first Superintendent’s Award

David Broyles

June 5, 2014

The first Superintendent’s Awards were given out at the Mount Airy City Schools work session Tuesday night. According to Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little, the honors are intended to be an annual event.

“Tonight we are going to give the first annual Superintendent’s Award,” said Little. “I must apologize because we lied to nearly everyone in the room tonight to get them here. We created this award to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond in service towards advancing our vision, mission and values. These individuals make our district a better place because of their hard work, effort and dedication.”

The first recipients of the award were third grade teachers Tarona Hollingsworth, Melissa Martin, Pam Mitchell, Melissa Phillips and Debbie Powell.

“In a year of change, few teachers were asked to change as much as our third grade team,” Little said. “With the advent of Read to Achieve and the highest standards in the history of North Carolina our third grade teachers stepped up to the task and made sure our students were ready. We are fortunate to have a team of teachers in our school district who work this hard.”

Volunteer Reagan Tidd was the second recipient of the award. Little credited her efforts with launching the system’s first Community Night and helped make the Tharrington Spring Fling a success.

“She has energized the Parent Teacher Organization at B.H. Tharrington and been a strong advocate of MACS in our community,” said Little. “Not only that, her husband (Chad) told me she doesn’t do it to be recognized which is why we are recognizing her here tonight.”

Little’s final award of the evening went to Administrative Assistant Alice Venable. He told the group when he was first hired by the district he spoke to a number of former superintendents who all predicted he would love working with Venable.

“In the last two-and-a-half years I would say their compliments do not do her justice. She is even better than they said,” Little said. “Alice has served the Mount Airy City Schools for the past 28 years and continues to play a critical role in our success each and every day. She is an amazing person who constantly gives to others and tonight we would like to give something (the award) to her.”

The system’s ongoing project to expand parts of Surry Community College’s Career and College (CCP) program to the school’s campus was explained in a PowerPoint presentation by Mount Airy High School Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Teacher.

“I love what we are able to do with this program,” said Chase. “I can be more hands on instead of only feeding them content.” She explained STEAM’s focus on establishing a collaborative environment and problem solving would benefit students later on when they entered the workforce. She also said teachers are quickly finding out students are out performing them when it comes to technology because it is changing so rapidly.

Chase said she is combining work on her master’s degree with a study of how to make CCP more successful at Mount Airy High. She sighted benefits to students which included free tuition and how high school students earning college credit make the transition to college more successfully.

She also outlined how she hopes to determine ways to attract more diversity in the program and said only 30 percent of students in the system’s technology and engineering program are female. Chase said she would like to continue to offer technology, engineering and design at MAHS and would like to explore summer offerings in STEAM subjects and establish a technical education association for students.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is set for June 26 at the Central Office on 130 Rawley Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

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