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July 01, 2022

Alex. Co. Schools tops region in K-3 reading

By ANGELA FARR KING

In a state superintendent’s meeting last week, Superintendent Catherine Truitt shared that Alexander County outperformed all other schools in the Northwest Region from Beginning of the Year to Middle of the Year K-3 Reading Assessments.

In addition, Alexander County students were fourth highest in proficiency and tied for third highest in growth with Brunswick County Schools. Associate Superintendent Dr. Betsy Curry thanked the students, teachers, principals, and coaches for their efforts in helpng to achieve these scores.

During recognition and honors at the monthly board meeting held on Tuesday, April 12th, Macy Johnson, a rising senior at Alexander Central High School was recognized for her acceptance into the North Carolina Governor’s School (NCGS) for Summer 2022. Miss Johnson received an acceptance letter in the area of Social Science.

The letter states that “The North Carolina Governor’s School is the oldest institution of its kind in the nation and has a proud tradition of excellence.”

Teachers either renewing their National Board Certificates or receiving them for the first time were honored in a reception prior to the board meeting and then recognized by Dr. Curry and the board during the meeting.

Those receiving NBCT status for the first time in 2021 were Allison Kaylor from East Alexander Middle School and Lisa Bentley from West Alexander Middle School.

NBCT FIRST TIME RECIPIENTS — The new 2021 National Board Certified Teachers were honored April 12, 2022, at the Board of Education meeting. Shown above, left to right: Associate Superintendent Dr. Betsy Curry, new National Board Certified Teachers Allison Kaylor from East Alexander Middle and Lisa Bentley from West Alexander and school board member Marty Loudermilt.

Those receiving NBCT recognition for their 2020 renewals were Christy Crouse and Lydia Gwaltney from Stony Point Elementary, Mandy Reid from West Alexander Middle School, and Kristine Ford from Wittenburg Elementary School.

2020 NBCT RENEWALS — Shown above, left to right: Associate Superintendent Dr. Betsy Curry, 2020 National Board Certified Teacher renewals Christy Crouse from Stony Point Elementary, Mandy Reid from West Alexander Middle School, Kristine Ford from Wittenburg Elementary, and board member Scott Bowman. Not pictured: Lydia Gwaltney from Stony Point Elementary.

Teachers recognized for renewals in 2021 were Payton Bowers, Lindsay Cox, Amanda Marshall, and Andrea Robinette from Alexander Central High School, Jennifer Clark from the Central Office, Travis Crowder, Jason Erkman, Melina Helton, and Toni Smith from East Alexander Middle School, Melinda Glenn from the Virtual Academy, and Ashley Huss from West Alexander Middle School.

2021 NBCT RENEWALS — The 2021 National Board Certified Teacher renewals were honored April 12 at the Board of Education meeting. Pictured above, left to right, Associate Superintendent Dr. Betsy Curry and the renewal teachers attending were: Amanda Marshall from ACHS, Jennifer Clark from the Central Office, and Melinda Glenn from the Alexander Virtual Academy, with school board member Ramie Robinson.

Dr. Curry noted that Alexander County currently has 76 National Board Certified Teachers.

There were no persons signed up for public comment at the board meeting.

Charles Draper shared an update presentation for Bethlehem Elementary School. He opened by saying that the teachers and staff at Bethlehem are “Gap Fillers.” They are filling the gaps daily to meet the needs of students.

He noted that Bethlehem staff has used their Title I money to fund interventionalists, to purchase leveled readers, and to pay for substitutes so that teachers could have a 1/2 day of additional planning per month. They have also purchased parent involvement resources for Math, Reading, and Science Nights. He stated that it was “good to have parents back in the building for these special events.”

Draper also thanked the many community partners who support Bethlehem Elementary in all of their endeavors.

Dr. Betsy Curry shared the superintendent’s monthly report for Dr. Jennifer Hefner, who is at home recovering from cancer treatments.
She invited all Alexander County Schools staff to attend an appreciation food truck celebration sponsored by the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 31, from 11-2 p.m. at the Alexander Central High School parking lot.

She also noted that the Excellence in Education Celebration to announce the “Of the Year” winners will be on Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m. in the Alexander Central Auditorium.
In the report, Dr. Curry also noted that there will be two bonuses scheduled to be paid in June of 2022.

The first one is Supplemental Funds for Teacher Compensation and is a recurring appropriation to provide funding for LEAs and charter schools in NC to provide salary supplements to teachers and instructional support personnel in their units. The funds may not be used to provide supplements to central office employees or non-certified employees.

A second Covid bonus from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) is scheduled to be paid to Alexander County School employees. Employees must be in pay status on May 31, 2022, to receive these bonuses.

Chief Financial Officer Sharon Mehaffey shared two policy revisions for approval after their second reading. Policy No. 3420 Student Promotion and Accountability and Policy No. 5022 Registered Sex Offenders, were approved unanimously by the board.

There were five policies being read for revisions for the first time, including Policy No. 6320 Use of Student Transportation Services, Policy No. 6340 Transportation Service/Vehicle Contracts, Policy No. 7100 Recruitment and Selection of Personnel, Policy No. 7130 Licensure, and Policy No. 7340 Employee Dress and Appearance.

John McCurdy, Transportation Director for ACS, shared a proposed agreement between Alexander County Schools and the Alexander County YMCA for use of an activity bus for their summer programs. McCurdy noted that the only difference in the agreement this year is an increase in the mileage fee from $1.50 per mile to $1.60 per mile.

The next meeting is planned for May 10, 6 p.m., at the Central Office.

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