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SoVaNow.com / June 12, 2013
I am glad I have this opportunity to look back on another school year coming to an end and to share my thoughts. As School Board Chairman, I am often exposed to criticism and negativity. At this time I am choosing to honor and report on the positive things going on in this school division and using the media to share with you the many blessings we have in our Mecklenburg County Schools. We have so many good things happening in our schools and it is my intention to commit time to newspaper forums to talk about these positive things.
This past year, the school board has worked hard to ensure that our students receive the quality education they need and deserve. We spent many hours working to support our employees so they have what they need to be successful in each school and department. We are constantly working to see how we can make improvements to update and equip our facilities.
I am proud of the following observations and accomplishments. First, I’ve enjoyed watching the kids playing in the new gyms at Chase City, Clarksville, and La Crosse Elementary Schools. What a difference the gyms have made for these kids. Second, the new additions are getting built and we’ll be getting rid of the old trailers. Third, seeing the 6th graders involved in PBL present their projects at most school board meetings and especially at Bluestone Middle School at the end of the year seeing the Presentations of Learning. When I was their age there was no way I could have done this. I support this program because I believe it will give the students the skills they need to be successful in college or at work. We have raised the expectations we have of our children. I am proud to work with the other school board members in support of making these changes in the instruction program that is benefiting our kids and in the end will benefit the companies that hire them.
The future holds even more positive changes. We want to purchase land and start planning for the design of a new, consolidated high school. We are looking at security and safety measures to keep our students safe while at school and on the buses and cars. We are glad that we are leading Southside Virginia in our use of PBL in the classrooms, and providing the support our teachers need to enable them to teach our students and get them 21st Century ready. We are planning to support our teachers and students by providing them technology at all levels. iPads and Netbooks will be available for elementary students at a 2-1 ratio. All six graders will have Chromebooks. All of the other grades will continue with the “Bring Your Own Device” policy and guidelines, as we approved last year. These are just a few of the positive things going on in our schools as we end this school year and have begun planning for the next school year.
I look forward to reporting on the positive events relating to our school system in future editorial columns and to another successful school year.
My final thoughts for now are that I’m proud to be able to serve as the School Board Chairman. I am proud of Mecklenburg County Public Schools and the progress we are making in providing for our students, faculty and staff. We are moving forward and heading in the right direction.
School Board Chairman