School board presents awards, hears updates


PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education, meeting on the eve of its day-long planning retreat, presented a number of awards and heard a variety of updates at its regular session last Tuesday.

The meeting, held at George Moses Horton Middle School, began with a closed session of more than an hour in length. After reconvening, Supt. Dr. Anthony Jackson shared observations from his participation in the Chatham County Board of Commissioners’ retreat the week prior — speaking positively about the reception to the school’s preliminary 2023-24 budget plan — and then took time to recognize his own board members.

January is School Board Appreciation Month, and Jackson thanked the board members individually for their commitment to Chatham County’s schools and students.

“We have one of the best boards in this state, if not the country,” he said.

The board also heard detailed updates from Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services and Instructional Support Dr. Amanda Moran, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Kelly Batten, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Chris Blice, Senior Executive Director of Student Support Services Tracy Fowler and Public Information Officer Nancy Wykle on progress toward completion of specific goals within the One Chatham Strategic Plan. Staff also provided updates from the Office of Excellence and Opportunity and a look at communication trends between the district and stakeholders and other community members.

A number of monthly awards were presented, including:

• The Power of One award, which recognizes an individual who has had a powerful impact on shaping the direction of someone else’s life. November’s honoree was Rebecca Clemens, the band teacher at Margaret B. Pollard Middle School, and December’s was Seaforth High School sophomore Kyle Stinson — the first student ever to receive the honor.

“I feel that he is more than deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Janice Giles, the principal at North Chatham Elementary, who nominated him. “He has taken the initiative to design a student leadership book study that he will be implementing as an after-school club for our 5th-grade students this spring. I’m blown away by the quality of the lessons he has designed and the professionalism he has exhibited in working to execute his plan. It’s amazing to see his passion for developing student leaders. This program will have a direct impact on developing leadership traits in the students who participate in the program.”

• The EC Parent Advisory Council recognized Ronda Marshall, an EC Instructional Assistant at Chatham Grove Elementary, and Becky Bouldin, an EC Resource Teacher at Virginia Cross Elementary, for their work.

• The board also recognized all first-place winners in the Chatham County Schools 2023-23 Science Fair, many of whom were present at the meeting. The first-place winners in 3rd through 12th grades will proceed to the Regional Science Fair on February 11 at the University of North Carolina Greensboro Middle College.

Senior Executive Director of Excellence and Opportunity Chris Poston provided an overview of CCS’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program and highlighted the accomplishments of several AVID students, who also addressed the board.

The board meets again at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, at the multipurpose room at George Moses Horton Middle School in Pittsboro.