PITTSBORO — The Chatham community packed into George Moses Horton Middle School’s multipurpose room Monday night as students, teachers and staff members were honored with a variety of awards at the Chatham County Board of Education’s regular meeting.
The board recognized seven teachers for becoming Certified National Board Teachers. National Board Certified Teachers are evaluated in five criteria areas, which include knowledge of the subjects they teach, teaching practices and the learning environments they create in their classrooms. Certification is done through a portfolio review, video reviews of the teachers in their classrooms and an assessment given to each applicant. (For a full list of Certified National Board Teachers, visit the board of education’s website.)
The board also honored instructional assistant of the year Nanette Atkinson, assistant principal of the year Nikki Murchison and teacher of the year Cassadi Walden. (Read more about each elsewhere in this week’s edition.)
Other recognitions included student athletes for outstanding achievements in fall and winter sports, students selected to attend governor’s school (read more about them in this week’s edition) and a special honor for Northwood High School’s student council.
Three Northwood High School students — student body President Kennedy Poston, student body Secretary Aza McFadden and senate whip Rose Hopp — were inducted into the N.C. Association of Student Councils’ Hall of Fame at the state convention in March. This award signifies their outstanding service and dedication as officers in the students’ home council. Each of these students has served the NHS Student Council for multiple years and has remained committed to the work of the council.
Northwood’s Student Council also achieved Honor Council status at the state convention. To achieve this recognition, councils must present evidence of having an effective and progressive council in many areas of involvement within and beyond the state, as well as activities at their home councils.
The board also recognized nutrition staff at various schools for their dedication to serving students throughout the pandemic and beyond. The board selected eight “Child Nutrition Heroes” from various schools for their service to the students and community.
Following the award recognitions, the board also shared commencement details for upcoming graduations. This year’s schedule:
• Chatham School of Science and Engineering - 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at the Agriculture & Conference Center (Pittsboro)
• Northwood High School - 10 a.m. Friday, June 10, at Northwood’s football stadium
• Chatham Central High School - 7 p.m. Friday, June 10, at the Wicker Center (Sanford)
• Jordan-Matthews High School - 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at J-M’s football stadium
Information items presented at the meeting included discussion of the board’s legislative priorities. Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson said his top five priorities for the 2022-23 school year include improving recruitment, retention and compensation; improving calendar flexibility; increasing state funding; working on student and employee wellness; and creating an accountability system.
The board also heard updates about the 2022 strategic plan following the One Chatham event in early April. Dr. Amanda Moran, assistant superintendent for academic services & instructional support, said the event was a huge success and provided the board with feedback about how to improve collaboration between various stakeholders in the community.
Principals and other administrators were scheduled to meet Wednesday to revise mission and value statements in the strategic plan based on the information from the One Chatham event. Moran said she expects a final draft of the strategic plan to be presented to the board in July.
Other items at Monday’s meeting included discussion of the land development next to Northwood High School, which is proposed to become a new complex with Miracle League and soccer fields. Miracle League is an organization that provides children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. The fields are designed with special rubber turf to ensure safety and enjoyment for all participants.
The board also unanimously approved a resolution to urge the North Carolina General Assembly to “fulfill its constitutional duty to provide every child with access to a sound basic education.”
“North Carolina public schools are consistently underfunded by the state of North Carolina, and North Carolina is not even meeting its minimal constitutional obligation for a sound, basic education for all students,” Jackson said.
The motion was passed in support of Every Child NC and the Chatham Education Foundation.
The board meets again at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 6, in the George Moses Horton Middle School Multipurpose Room.
Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at email@example.com or @b_rappaport.
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