Reeves: No personnel losses from state funding changes

By David Broyles

August 7, 2013

PINNACLE — Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves told the county school board Monday night no teachers or teaching assistants will lose their jobs this year as a result of state funding changes.

That doesn’t mean everyone will remain in the same positions they worked last year.

During a meeting at Shoals Elementary Reeves said any reductions in personnel would be handled through attrition, retirement and resignations as it has been over the past few years.

“The good news is we have a plan and we will not loose our teachers or teacher assistants. We’ll have the same people but perhaps not in the same positions they are now in. My concern is for the future. We are already seeing shortages in math and science teachers.”

Reeves said it was a “sad thing” that legislative actions were making teaching more attractive in other states which pay higher and rewarded teachers with advanced degrees.

“I’m concerned about a teacher shortage in the future,” Reeves said. “The good news is no one is going home tonight without a job and we will continue to produce a first rate education for our students.”

In an unrelated move, school official Sonia Dickerson recognized Gary York and his wife, Charlotte, for work they have done for the school system.

“Through the years, Gary York has unselfishly given his time, talent and funds to the Surry County School System,” Dickerson said. “He has been involved in helping create many memories and has captured those memories through his photography. He has shared those excellent photos with students, faculty members, parents and administrators. Mr. York inspires others to express gratitude and to be a friend to those who need service.”

Dickerson also lauded York and his wife, Charlotte, for providing a bus driver celebration dinner which honors all county bus drivers.

“He (York) is an example of a true partner,” Dickerson said. “There are so many wonderful ways he supports Surry County Schools and there are so many wonderful things we could continue to say but the main thing we want to say is thank you for being a friend.”

York quoted the late Albert Schweitzer who felt happiness was best found in serving others and God.

“We (he and his wife, Charlotte) look at it as enough reward to serve. This is a good place to be,” said York. “It’s all about the people behind the scenes. It’s who you don’t see that often makes a difference.”

Board Chairman Earlie Coe commended York for being present at more than 60 state playoff games and for his businesses contribution of peanut butter delights to support schools. York told the crowd the recipe for the popular local treat originated at Copeland Elementary School in 1981.

“The level of energy and all you have given has really made a difference in people’s lives,” said board member Sue Stone.

In other action, the board:

— Approved an affiliation agreement with Appalachian State University. Appalachian State is seeking to form a partnership with the board to provide Appalachian State nursing students with clinical experiences under the supervision of school nurses in local schools.

— Approved a request by Surry Central High School Principal Celia Hodges to place a spirit rock on the Surry Central High School campus. The rock could be painted by various clubs or organizations to demonstrate school spirit to competing teams.

“In conversations with students and staff I found out they really want a spirit rock,” explained Hodges. “Kenneth Marshall stepped forward and Jim Crossingham of Ararat Rock agreed to let us come out and pick a boulder.” Marshall will donate equipment to move the stone.

She said the spirit rock would be located in a median, between two trees near the lower entrance of Surry Central High School. East Surry has a similar spirit stone on its campus.

— Heard from Reeves regarding plans for curriculum fairs to be held Sept. 17, 19 and 26 at county high schools to demonstrate to parents what is being done in schools with the roll out of state’s Common Core mandates.

Reach David Broyles at dbroyles@civitasmedia.com or 719-1952.