Newly elected county school board members were honored with a reception Monday night at Meadowview Middle School before their formal swearing in ceremony and the election of officers for the 2014-2015 school year.
Twelve-year veteran board member Earlie Coe was sworn in by Judge Spencer Key and was later elected by acclamation as chairperson. Newly elected member Dr. Terri Mosley was sworn in by Central Office Administrative Assistant Amy Childress and newly elected member Mamie Sutphin was administered the oath of office by Surry County Clerk of Superior Court Becky Brendle. Clark Goings was elected by acclamation to the post of vice chairperson.
Board Attorney Frederick Johnson explained the board elects a chairperson and a vice chairperson to serve for a term of one year or until his or her successor is elected and qualified by taking the oath of office prescribed in Article VI, Sec. 7 of the North Carolina Constitution. Officers must be elected by a majority of the board.
Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves welcomed more than 50 persons to the reception, telling the participants it was a celebration honoring the newly elected members. He recognized county Commissioners Eddie Harris and Buck Golding, Pilot Mountain Town Commissioner Gary Bell, Surry County Schools Educational Foundation Chairman Brent McKinney, Foundation Liaison Melissa White and foundation board members Gary York, Fred Johnson, Eddie Brown and Judge Spencer Key.
Goings will serve on the auxiliary services committee, Brian Moser remains on the buildings and grounds committee, Mosley will fill the curriculum committee spot formerly held by Sue Stone, Coe will serve on the finance committee and Sutphin will serve on the finance committee in place of Brian Gates, who did not run for re-election.
Reeves gave a brief overview of the board’s strategic plan and its five goals. He said the top goal is to produce globally competitive graduates prepared for work, citizenship and further education. The other goals are ensuring every student has a customized, personalized education, to attract, train and retain quality personnel, to develop up to date technology system to serve county students, parents and educators and to provide a healthy, safe and caring culture for all students and staff.
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Tunstall gave an overview of a North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey given every other year by the State Department of Instruction. Surry County teachers scored 75 percent on whether reliability and speed of internet connections in their schools was sufficient to support instructional practices. The state average was 76.1 percent for this question.
County schools exceeded the state average with responses to students following rules of conduct with an 87.9 percent while the state had 71.9. A total of 86.3 percent of the teachers indicated they felt administrators consistently enforce conduct rules while the state had a 72.2 percent in this category. Tunstall said the survey indicated 87.1 percent of county teachers felt there is an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect in their schools compared to the state score of 73.1 percent.
He said 89.6 percent of county teachers felt they have sufficient training to utilize instructional technology with 88.8 percent indicating they felt follow up in their schools was provided by professional development. The state totals in these categories were 73.3 percent and 73.5 percent respectively.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.