Education board, county commissioners bid farewell to members

By Tanya Chilton tchilton@civitasmedia.com

July 3, 2014

YADKINVILLE — During a joint meeting of the Yadkin County Board of Education and Yadkin County Board of Commissioners Monday, school board members Diane Hampton and Frank Brown were wished well and thanked for years of service and jobs well done.

The group welcomed new school board members Tim Weatherman and Sam Crews.

Chairman of the Board of Yadkin County Commissioners Kevin Austin said Brown spent his life in education and his expertise has been key for the public education community as a whole.

Brown with her family brought the addition of Advanced Placement classes and made a lasting contribution to educational excellence, said Austin.

Chairman of the Yadkin County School Board Howard McKnight said, “They will be missed.”

School board members thanked commissioners for their hard work on the budget and for giving the school system a $30,000 increase in the revision for the 2014-15 budget.

County Manager Aaron Church reported there was a county tax cut by two pennies and called that a large amount.

“Every penny whether up or down is a a lot,” said Church.

In addition, Church said there was an increase of 3 percent for funding school operations. He called that amount a “big” increase and significant.

Several on the board commented they are still waiting to see what Raleigh is going to do when it comes to making budget decisions.

Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin said it will be important legislators address how to keep teacher assistants, keep class sizes reasonable and keep teachers’ pay where it should be for training and expertise.

Martin along with the school board and county commissioners commended students in Yadkin County for their hard work in academics and sports.

Preliminary data indicated that graduation levels are up and so are proficiency scores in school testing. Martin said however, official results cannot be released until the school board has approved all final results.

Martin recognized recent track state championships won by cousins, Samantha and Hunter Welborn of Starmount High School. He noted top finishes of students in Health Occupations Students America (HOSA).

School board members and commissioners congratulated the students.

They also thanked Sherry Hinshaw, Tammy Miller and Kathy Hughes for their hard work in preparing the meal and refreshments for the meeting.

In addition, Austin said he would like to point out the fact that the Yadkin County School System has a well-rounded public school system and recognized the importance of addressing that when it comes to budgeting issues.

Austin thanked Donald Hawks, maintenance supervisor of 23 years, for his hard work and efficiency behind the scenes. Hawks covers 17 facilities total, including 14 schools and three other facilities.

Austin and Hawks said due to hard work by the education board and commissioners, there is now safety equipment and cameras in school facilities.

Hawks said having safety certifications are high on the list. He said he also enjoys his work and called everyday “a commitment and a challenge.”

“He does a great job,” said Austin.

Provided is a list of HOSA awards given by Martin.

From Starmount High School, HOSA awards were: Jordan Brown, 2nd place - Life Support Skills; Kasi Macemore, 3rd place - Speaking Skills; Abby Layell, Amanda O’Donnell, Breanna Stewart, Hannah Furr, Holly Shore, Kattie Chipman, Nick Worley, Tessica Martin, 4th place - Parliamentarian Procedure; Alli St. John, Laken Steelman, 6th place - Community Awareness; Shyann Ringgold - HOSA Happenings; Lauren Stone - Outstanding HOSA Chapter.

From Forbush High School, HOSA awards were: Dylan Hunter, 1st place - HOSA Happenings; Elizabeth Clendenin, 1st place - Speaking Skills; Shawn Ellis, 1st place - Personal Care; Lauren Hobson - Top 10 in Courtesy Corps; Jesus Garcia - Top 10 in Dental Science; Xavier Perez - NC HOSA State Officer.

Martin also commended Rachel Castevens of Starmount High School, who won first place in the state in this year’s statewide Hop on the BUS Competition.

In the competition, students submitted business plans that were judged by small business experts around the state. Castevens is taught in the field of business marketing by Melanie Matthews.

Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.