January was School Board Appreciation Month which is an annual time to let school board members know how much they are appreciated. However, school board members are busy year-round considering how to support and improve the school system.
Elkin City Schools has a board comprised of five members: Chair – Dr. Richard Brinegar, Frank Beals, James Freeman, Dr. Jane Riley and Haley Sullivan. These representatives are elected every four years. Although the board is responsible for hiring the superintendent of the school system and voting on local policies, the most important credentials are being “a good listener and a people person,” according to board member Frank Beals.
After a person is elected to the board, Beals explained the main duties involve being reliable and trustworthy to the people of Elkin as clear communication is necessary to fulfill the public’s needs and wants. That alone brings its own challenges. “Staying productive and affecting change can always be a problem,” Beals said.
James Freeman also pointed out school board members must work with what the state and federal governments demand of public school systems.
In order to deal with those stresses, Beals tries to “stay positive and take everything as a learning experience.”
Elkin City Schools has a reputation as a friendly and inviting place for all students. Beals feels Elkin is full of great teachers, a great student body, and people who strive for academic achievement. He strives to preserve that reputation in all he does.
Freeman also credited the system’s success to “the tireless dedication and innovation of our faculty and staff.”
Although Elkin City Schools maintains a positive reputation, there is always room for improvement. Beals believes that better listening and communication between teachers and students would be of significant help to the school. “Teachers are the ones on the front lines,” said Beals. “They know what is best for the students.”
Along with communication, Beals believes that increased creativity should be added to classes to enhance learning experiences for the students, and allow more opportunities for the school and its reputation to remain the best that it can be.
Ryan Childress and Henry Freeman are members of the Elkin High School Journalism Club.