PILOT MOUNTAIN — The 64-year career of J.L. Hiatt was honored at the Surry County Board of Education meeting on Friday at Pilot Mountain Middle School. Results of the state’s ABCs of Public Education also were shared with board members.
“Your legacy is unbelievable,” commented School Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson to Hiatt.
Hiatt told the group of co-workers and family about how he had started out his career at Flat Rock High School, where he was hired to coach. He said he spent 11 years there before transferring to North Surry due to school consolidation. It was there he started teaching driver’s education and coaching football. Hiatt said he taught for 15 years in varying combinations of driver’s education both in and out of the classroom and has spent the remainder of the years working part-time.
“I’ve taught thousands,” said Hiatt. “I can’t go anywhere without someone saying, hey, you taught me how to drive.”
Charles Graham, Surry County assistant superintendent of Human Resources, told the group he was taught driver’s education by Hiatt in 1980 at Surry Central High School. He told the group one afternoon the normally laid-back Hiatt arrived to pick him up for his driving lesson and told him to quickly get behind the wheel.
Graham said that Hiatt nerviously told him to head for Interstate 77. They had to get water to two women who were stranded on the road and needed to refill the car’s radiator. Upon nearing the women’s vehicle, they saw the ladies pull out and start traveling south.
“Mr. Hiatt told me to catch them before they burned up that car’s motor,” said Hiatt. “Being a 15-year old boy behind the wheel, I said OK. I remember hitting 75 miles an hour on that new road and flashing the lights to get them to pull over. Another motorist had given them water. It’s etched in my mind and I regret to tell Mr. Hiatt that I’ve had a lead foot ever since then.”
Board member Clark Goings told the group Hiatt had “always been the finest gentleman and your character and family values are number one.”
Director of Accountability and Technology Dr. Jeff Tunstall reported the results of the State Department of Instruction’s ABCs of Public Education to the board. Tunstall said the report, released Thursday by the state, indicated 14 county schools had hit the goals for expected growth and five schools had hit the targets for meeting high growth goals.
He told the board schools qualifying for high expected student learning growth goals meant 60 percent of students had met the educational targets. The five schools achieving high growth are Dobson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, North Surry High School, Pilot Mountain Middle and Westfield Elementary. A total of 15 of 19 county schools met all AMO (Annual Measurable Objectives) targets.
Tunstall also reported the results for the Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Report. The period tracked was from ninth-graders entering in 2008 or 2009 and graduating in the 2011-12 or earlier school year. Statewide, 80.2 percent of all students graduated. A total of 76.3 percent of male students graduated statewide and 84.3 percent of the female students graduated statewide.
According to Tunstall, Surry County Schools had 83 percent of all students graduate. The percentage of male students in the county schools graduating was 79.6 and 86.9 percent of female students graduated. The information provided board members indicated 86.2 percent of East Surry High’s students graduated, 77.2 percent from North Surry graduated and 82.3 percent from Surry Central graduated.
Persons wishing to get more information on the ABCs report can access this at the State DPI website, www.ncpublicschools.org.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.