Students and staff are supporting victims of Hurricane Florence with a local tie to Elkin, and the community has been invited to join the efforts.
“Hurricane Florence has taken its toll on our friends and neighbors on the east coast,” explained Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent of Elkin City Schools, during the most recent school board meeting. “Four school systems are closed through tomorrow, Sept. 25; two school systems are closed through Wednesday, Sept. 26; seven are closed through Friday, Sept. 28; and three are closed until further notice.”
The students and staff in Elkin’s schools “are not waiting for someone else to do a good deed,” she said as she teared up with pride. “Already $1,000 has been raised for West Pender Middle School.”
West Pender Middle is the school where former Elkin Middle principal Casey Morrison is now principal, Cox said. “But once an Elk, always an Elkin,” she said.
Elkin Elementary, Middle and High schools are collection sites where members of the community can stop by to drop off school supplies and materials for West Pender Middle School, which is in Burgaw just north of Wilmington.
“Some of their friends and families will go home and their homes will be severely flooded, and they will have lost their things.”
A delivery of the items collected in Elkin will be made the second week of October, so anyone wishing to make donations is asked to do so this week. A list of needed items is available under the News section on Elkin City Schools’ website at https://www.elkincityschools.org/apps/news/article/920523.
“The powers and benefits of doing good deeds for others abounds in Elkin City Schools, and I’m proud that we have chosen to brighten the world,” Cox said.
“We can donate as a school system, as a community, as a concerned group of citizens,” she said. “We’ll take those to West Pender Middle School, or Ms. Morrison has even said she might come up with a truck and trailer so that she can thank everyone in person.
“She’s extremely touched by our efforts, and I think that again, I’m very proud of what our students and staff are already doing to help,” said Cox.
Child nutrition staff honored
Also during the school board meeting, Cindy Marion, director of child nutrition, recognized two of her staff members for training they received, and then shared with others, this past summer.
Pam Lloyd and Greta Lytton were chosen to attend a K-12 culinary institute provided through the state Department of Public Instruction. Through the institute, professional chefs were able to work with child nutrition staff and show them some tricks of the trade, including presentation, menu development and recipes, Marion explained.
Also, in being chosen to participate, Elkin Elementary School received $500 in food service preparation equipment to use at the school.
“I’m just delighted at all the efforts all of our child nutrition staff have made to go forth and attend more classes. Every one of our employees attended ServSafe last year and are ServSafe certified folks now,” she said.
Lloyd said the chefs leading the institute were from Texas and Mississippi, and her favorite parts were learning about garnishing food items so they look more attractive to students, and learning how to flavor foods with spices rather than salt.
The food served for the school board’s dinner prior to the meeting was made based on recipes Lloyd and Lytton collected at the institute, and the board members praised the flavors and how good the meal was.
“The best part of this program is, it’s a teach-it-forward program,” Marion said.
After returning from the institute, the child nutrition staff from the region who attended then taught other child nutrition staff from Surry, Stokes, Yadkin and other mountain counties during a back-to-school training that was held.
Art work praised
The monthly student art work was presented for display in the administrative office’s lobby gallery during the meeting as well.
Adam Beshears, art teacher for Elkin Middle and High, shared the works of eighth-grader Zach Hawkins and senior Rhett Isenhoward.
Their art work will be on display through most of October until the next school board meeting on Oct. 22.
Teachers gain AIG certification, associate’s
Through a cohort program with Duke University, four Elkin Elementary School teachers have received their Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) certification, and came out with top honors in the program.
Pam Colbert, principal of EES, recognized Julie Reed, Holly Simmons, Tammy Coley and Sherri Couch at the meeting.
“We, as in Elkin City Schools, wanted to increase the number of teachers certified in AIG. We were fortunate enough to get in a cohort program with Duke University,” Colbert explained.
The four teachers spent a lot of extra time outside of class to gain their certification, which involved group studies after school, traveling to Winston-Salem, and participate in some studies at Duke as well as completing a summer practicum.
“I was really happy when I learned when their graduation was, because I got to go,” Colbert said. “Just like with my children, I was so happy and proud to see them graduate at Duke University.
“I was already proud of them for successfully completing the program, and at Duke, there was about 28 members in the cohort, so they had some special awards they gave,” she said. “They gave out six special awards during that evening. When they announced them first special award, it was Tammy Coley who was first, and I clapped and was so happy and her family was proud. Then they asked Holly Simmons to come forward to get her award, and again I was proud. And then they asked for Julie Reed to come forward, and I was so proud, and I was like please let Sherri Couch win because at that point I was taking three of my kids home with awards.
“And sure enough, out of the six awards they gave at Duke University, with teachers from Durham, Winston-Salem, Rockingham County, our teachers got four of the six awards,” Colbert said. “The lady that was over the program said, ‘I want to move where you live if this is representative of what you have,’ and I said it is, and we are so proud.”
Also recognized by Colbert, but unable to attend, was Chrystal Ingersoll, who completed her associate’s degrees in Pre-K and Pre-K administration recently.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.