The regular meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Education was marked by recognitions and comments on the opening day of schools.
Board member Mike Hiatt commented in the public address portion of the meeting at B.H. Tharrington Primary School that he felt the schools he visited “looked great.”
“When the bell rang, it was like they never missed a stroke,” said Hiatt. “My complements on the opening day of school.”
Board of education member David Rowe recognized Amy Bledsoe, who is running for the seat he currently occupies on the board. Rowe chose not to run for re-election this year.
“She (Bledsoe) is the heir apparent,” joked Rowe. “She will do a wonderful job when she gets on the board.”
Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little commented on the power outage that prompted the early closure of Tharrington Primary School and Mount Airy Middle School on opening day. He said he was proud of the response of the school staff to the outage and credited teamwork with cooking food at other locations and transporting it to the schools so students were fed.
He also recognized the efforts of the eLink Program.
“This past summer, four ladies worked extremely hard placing 61 students in summer programs throughout our county,” said Little. “Thanks to Polly Long, coordinator, Diane Barnett, Lisa Cline and Laurie Culler.” Barnett, Cline and Culler served as eLink career facilitators. He added that they went “above and beyond their job” to ensure that students were appropriately placed in positions where they had an opportunity to succeed.
Long said that each participant earned about $1,500 which greatly helped their families. She added that the participants worked in programs including the school free lunch programs, cleaning schools and at Reeves Community Center.
Little next recognized the Mount Airy Downtown Business Association and sponsors for the “Rock the Runway” event.
“We would like to recognize Jennie Lowry and Phil Marsh,” said Little. “The association and its sponsors were instrumental in raising awareness of the needs our children face each and every day, often going home to empty food pantries. They (the association) gathered food and accepted cash donations on behalf of our Hungry Bear food programs.”
He added that sponsors included Salon Web, Salon 222, Neil Richardson, Merle Norman, Dr. Amy DeVore-Skin Surgery Center, Nester Hosiery, Choice Med Spa, Walmart 1039 and Old North State Winery.
“Month after month, it ceases to amaze me the wonderful things our community, students and staff do for the area. We truly have a community of givers. They give money, time and heart. Caring and commitment begin early in life and we are so proud of the example that Mount Airy sets for our young and old,” said Little.
He also said the school had held its first robotics league interest day and a total of 220 children had indicated an interest in participating in the LEGO League.
Little also announced that the first school strategic planning session will be held Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Airy High School. He added that a total of 10 school district participants have been chosen and estimated that more than 10 community members also will participate.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org ore 719-1952.