State official visits Elkin High

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

December 9, 2013

Phillip Price was featured as the guest speaker Friday during Elkin City Schools’ Legislative Luncheon.

Price is the chief financial officer for the state’s Department of Public Instruction. He has served in variety of roles during his time with the department, which ranges from after his graduation from N.C. State University in 1978 until 1999, then again from 2002 to the present.

Price holds degrees in accounting and economic from N.C. State and is a native of Sanford.

Price was invited to speak during a special meal at the high school, prepared by the high school’s own foods class under Kali Teague.

In his address, Price gave a summary of the budget facing public schools in the state.

The economy since 2008 and 2009 factored heavily into the budget examination. Public education was receiving its highest level of funding at that point, but the Great Recession has caused both federal and state governments to make cuts in their appropriations since then.

Price used textbook funding as an example. He said textbook funding was down 79 percent from the pre-recession levels.

He also discussed the importance of technology in classrooms across the state.

Price was one of many high-profile leaders who made their way to Elkin High for the event. Surry County commissioners, Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens, representatives from Sen. Richard Burr, and many local business and community leaders were in attendance as ECS gave a summary update of the new STEAM program introduced earlier this year.

Elkin Middle School Principal Pam Colbert and Elkin Elementary Principal Anthony Davis presented the steps already taken to make Elkin schools focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.

Colbert included notebooks her middle-schoolers are keeping, each detailing their first experiences with STEAM and project-based learning in their classrooms.

The attendees were invited to tour Elkin High School following the meal.

Price was given a private tour by Principal Joel Hoyle prior to the event beginning. Price met with several of the educators and sat in on their classes briefly, discussing with the teachers issues that were important to them.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.