A large number of students, as well as staff members, were recognized Monday night during the Elkin City Schools Board of Education meeting, including two middle-schoolers who will be competing in a national competition later this year.
Breanna Laws and Grace Gambill competed at the state convention of the National Jr. Beta Club recently in the Book Battle competition. The duo placed first in the state in Division II against other teams who had four members competing.
Their win gives them a chance to compete at Disney World in the national competition in the future, explained Elkin Middle School Principal Casey Morrison as she recognized the girls, and their club sponsors Emily Rycroft and Lane Beshears.
Other students honored Monday included Solana Transou and Mavery Renegar, students at Elkin Elementary School. The girls’ artwork is on display at the Central Office art exhibit area in the lobby.
Raven Poindexter, a student at Elkin Elementary School, was recognized by Principal Pam Colbert for being chosen to participate in the North Carolina School of Science and Math Durham Summer Accelerator Program. Poindexter was recognized nationally last year in New Orleans for her science talent.
Poindexter said Monday she is looking forward to the NCSSM summer week-long camp, where she will study predators and their food chain.
Elementary school Jr. Beta Club members winning honors at the state level were recognized as well. They included Hannha Fortune, for two of her pieces of art; Maggie Hall in speech; Leah White in science academic test; and the Quiz Bowl team of Xavier Lopez, Kayla Ledbetter, Hannah Fortune and Emma Golden. Those six students were part of a group of 34 students from Elkin who competed at the convention in various categories.
February is Love the Bus Month, and Lisa Pendry, Elkin City Schools transportation director, took the time to highlight the district’s eight drivers — Vicky Mendenhall, Bill Owen, Anthony Shropshire, Larry Powell, Amanda Hurt, Earl Mounce, B.D. Reece and Jeff Reeds.
Each of the four drivers attending Monday’s meeting introduced himself or herself, shared the number of years they’ve driven and a story or reason they drive.
For Shropshire, it is important to know that all the students get home safely each day.
Powell said he is blessed to be able to drive the bus and serve as a substitute teacher. “It is one of the most enjoyable things I can do, to see them change and grow. It is a blessing to me,” he said.
“They are the first face those students see and the last face they see,” said Pendry of the importance of the drivers. “Driving a bus is hard, with managing student behavior, a loud engine, watching cars and doing proper stops with all the hand signals.
“They do build relationships with the kids, and I’m really proud of the job they do,” she said.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.