DOBSON — Surry Central student Alex Fowler was recognized Monday night at the Surry County Board of Education’s regular meeting for participating in The Governor’s School of North Carolina.
“There were no tests, no grades,” began Fowler as he addressed the board. “With that out of the equation you could relax and do the best you could do. It was like an educational utopia. You get there and you just don’t want to leave. You get to meet 274 new friends.”
Governor’s school is a five-week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students. It integrates academic disciplines, the arts and unique courses of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline on each of two campuses. Governor’s School West is at Salem College in Winston-Salem, and Governor’s school East is at Meredith College in Raleigh.
Information supplied by the board indicates it is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation and is open to rising seniors only. It is administered by the public schools of North Carolina, the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division.
“It should make us proud to have students like Alex in the Surry County School system,” said board Vice Chairman Brian K. Gates. “There are many more like him.”
Board Chairman Earlie Coe encouraged Governor’s School graduates to contact their legislators and tell them how great a program it is because there has been talk at the state level of discontinuing the summer school.
In other business, the board passed a resolution to join with The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals to declare October as National Principals’ Month. The board was informed that on Sept. 12, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan resolution supporting this measure.
The board also approved a comprehensive five-year strategic plan for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) development in the school system. STEM seeks to show students how scientific knowledge is interconnected with comprehensive skills to better prepare them for college and careers.
Dobson Elementary Principal Jan Varney and Dobson Elementary School PTO President Michael Gentry’s request for improvements to the school’s gym was approved by the board. The three-phase project will be paid for by PTO fundraising projects.
Phase One of the improvements to the gym will include painting the exterior of the gym and a sign and will cover the front windows with metal to seal them against the weather. Phase two will be painting the gym interior. Phase three will be remodeling the bathrooms and will include new fixtures, re-tiling the floors and painting bathroom walls and ceilings.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate what the PTO is doing,” said Schools Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson. “We couldn’t do it without your support.”
The board also approved a request by North Surry Principal Bill Goins to place a 12-by-15-foot utility building in the grassy area outside the school’s band room. The building will be used to store band-related materials and supplies. Band Director Blake McCraw and the North Surry Band Boosters worked together on the project. The building will be donated by Carolina Carports.
Fall Drug Abuse Resistance Education graduation dates were announced by the board. DARE graduation will be held Nov. 6 at Franklin Elementary and Cedar Ridge Elementary. Franklin’s ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and DARE graduation will began at 1:30 p.m. at Cedar Ridge.
DARE graduation will be on Nov. 8 at Copeland Elementary at 1:30 p.m. and will be held Nov. 14 at Flat Rock Elementary also at 1:30 p.m. White Plains Elementary will hold its DARE graduation Nov. 16 at 9 a.m., and Mountain Park Elementary will have DARE graduation on Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.