Elkin City Schools closed out the year by celebrating the achievements of teachers, principals and the student body in what was defined as “STEAM…A STEAM-infused education for every child Pre-K thru Grade 12.”
ECS Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe opened the celebration, followed by Board of Education member James Freeman giving warm greetings to the staff and visitors to Dixon Auditorium.
Bledsoe recognized the Board of Education for its importance in the role of supporting excellence in education. Elkin City School Board members include Chairman Dr. Richard Brinegar, Vice Chair Haley Sullivan, James Freeman, Dr. Jane Riley and Frank Beals.
Bledsoe thanked all staff, teachers, teacher’s assistants, principals, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, maintenance staff, custodial staff, administrative assistants and the ECS Leadership Team for all the work that has been accomplished during the 2015-2016.
He said due to such efforts by staff and students, Elkin City Schools ranked number one in NC in the percentage of teachers meeting or exceeding student growth expectations. ECS ranks third overall among North Carolina School Districts for student proficiency based on end of course and end of grade assessments.
“These rankings are reflective of our mission in education and that our direction of a STEAM infused education for every child is right in our school system.
“Our teachers are doing a phenomenal job in the classroom each day for our children,” Bledsoe said. “We are creating the future every day for these students.”
Bledsoe stated, at the end of a successful school year, everyone should reflect and prepare for the upcoming school year. Teachers should think about how to get more student engagement and interaction in learning. Everyone shares the responsibility to help students be better prepared for college, career and their future.
He continued that a major focus for educators for the next school year is to reflect upon these basic questions as they pertain to the journey in being a school system of significance. “What does STEAM mean to my grade level, my department and to ‘ME’ in my classroom? Also, how can we help ‘Parents’ better understand their role in a STEAM infused education for their child?”
The finance department and all finance officers of ECS received recognition at the event. The department was awarded the “Achievement in Financial Resource Management Award” by the NC Department of Public Instruction. Jan Zachary, director of Finance, and her team were recognized for excellence in financial resource management for the ninth consecutive year.
Zachary then presented the 2015 retirees and noted their many years of dedication and hard work for the children of ECS. Retirees included: Elkin Elementary: William “Bill” Land, art teacher, and Roberta Guyer, teacher assistant.
Also during the end of year celebration, Zachary, along with the help of Joy Mathis and Kim Hooker, presented the Elkin City Schools Service Awards. These awards are given on a five-year recognition basis.
Five-year service awards were presented by EHS Assistant Principal and Transportation Director Cassandra Morrison. They were awarded to Connie Snider, Sherry Caudle, Heath Foster, Cory Rycroft, April Swarey, Emily Morrison and Kimberly Swisher.
The 10-year service awards were presented by EES Assistant Principal Lisa Pendry. They were awarded to Vickie Blevins, Holly Russell, Jodi Sebastian and Nick Tomlin.
The 15-year service awards were presented by EMS Principal Pam Colbert. They were awarded to Amanda Wall, Debra Horton, Sherry Martin, Kim Monteleone, Shannon Norris, Jana Swaim, Patty Crosswhite and Ken Berger.
The 20-year service awards were presented by EHS Principal Joel Hoyle. They were awarded to Melody Hayes, Shannon Swaim and Mary Ann Osment.
The 25-year service awards were presented by Bledsoe. They were awarded to Charlotte Guyer, Joel Hoyle and Shelia Settle.
The 30-year service award was presented by Bledsoe. The recipient was Patsy Burgess.
The 40-year service award was presented by EES Principal Anthony Davis. The recipient was Phyllis Hinson.
The Elkin City Schools Bus Driver of the Year was recognized as B.D. Reece, and the award was presented by EHS Assistant Principal and Transportation Director Cassandra Morrison.
The Elkin Elementary School Teacher Assistant of the Year is Melody Hayes.
Allison Moxley recognized Teachers of the Year — Elkin Elementary, Crystal Walker; Elkin Middle, Bronson Ericksen; and Elkin High, Nicki Hiatt. The 2015-2016 Elkin City Schools Teacher of the Year is Bronson Ericksen.
Vice Chair of the Board Haley Sullivan gave closing comments and wished everyone a great summer.