It continues to be my pleasure to serve as the Elkin interim superintendent. Good things keep happening. Just today, I learned of another “top 10” ranking of Elkin student performance.
The Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh collects and reports the number of students who receive a “credential” from a professional association, vendor, or employer. A credential means that an employee or student has acquired the designated knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform a specific job. Students in NC can earn credentials on many software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop and Microsoft’s Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word as well as ServSafe (food safety), Everfi (financial literacy), and CPR. Many times students earn more than one credential.
Students at Elkin High School earned 245 credentials last year. The Department of Public Instruction in NC tracks the number of credentials earned as a percent of Career and Technical Education course enrollments in each school district or Charter School. The top 10 list for the 2015-16 school year includes: Bladen County, Yancey County, Cherokee County, Mountain Charter, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Mitchell County, Perquimans County, ELKIN CITY SCHOOLS, Wilkes County, and Cleveland County.
In Elkin High School, 33 percent of all the students enrolled in a Career and Technical Education course received one or more credentials. That’s outstanding. I want to congratulate our Career and Technical Education teachers and Mrs. Barbara Long, our CTE director.
Several weeks ago, all of Elkin City’s fourth- and eighth-grade students had the opportunity to learn about life in the late 1700s from members of the Over Mountain Victory Trail Association. Volunteers dressed up in period clothing presented to small groups of students at the Elkin recreation center as well as various locations along the newly restored Over Mountain Victory Trail. At each station students learned about different aspects of early colonial life in NC.
I attended one of the sessions and learned what a trip to the “grocery store” was like in colonial times. Early settlers in the Elkin area had to travel about 45 miles to the nearest trading post. Many times the mother had to make the trip alone since the father was farming, hunting, or away helping to defeat the British at King’s Mountain. The journey to the trading post was a five or six day trip on foot, depending on the weather. On the way back the “shopper” had to pull a wooden sled loaded with supplies. In addition students learned that corn was a key ingredient to survival on the frontier. Every part of the corn plant was used. Students had a chance to try grinding corn — many times the job for children in the colonial homestead. Students learned that it was time consuming work and that many hours of grinding was required for cooking every day.
Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who made this hands-on trip back in history possible.
Dr. Don Martin is interim superintendent of Elkin City Schools.