Several students and teacherswere recognized in front of a packed room for a variety of accomplishments during Monday’s meeting of the Anson County Board of Education.
Superintendent Michael Freeman first called up the teachers who won grants for their schools to help fund educational projects. Peachland-Polkton Elementary School teachers Wendy Dagenhart and Shelly Vetter, Morven Elementary School teacher Rosanna Teal, Ansonville Elementary School teacher Justin Jones and Lilesville Elementary School teacher Lauren Dugan were all honored for their successful grant applications.
The grants will be used for a variety of projects, including fighting childhood obesity and building a solar generator.
Several young students whose artwork was used in the school system’s Christmas cards this year were also recognized.
Mayci McCollum, a 6th grader at Peachland-Polkton, drew the card’s cover, which says “Merry Christmas Anson 2016” and features snowflakes and a Christmas tree. Lilesville second-grader Londyn Lockett’s piece showing presents under a Christmas tree is inside the card on the top left while Kazoua Thao, a ninth-grader at Anson County Early College High School, has a drawing with a teddy bear and rabbit sitting among snowy hills in the top right of the inside of the card.
Maci Sellers, a sixth-grader at Lilesville, drew the watermark of a Bearcat paw print featured on the bottom of the inside of the card. Lilesville fifth-grader Abigail Underwood drew Santa Claus’ feet sticking out from a chimney that shows an orange paw print and says “Anson County Schools;” her design is on the back left of the card. A snowman swinging in the snow on a rope of Christmas lights is on the right of the back of the card and was drawn by Patience B. Marshall, an 11th-grader at Anson County Early College High School. My Vue, an 11th-grader at Anson High School, drew a coloring page that will be inserted in the card.
Freeman said the designs were examples of “excellent creative work.”
School board chairwoman Dr. Bobbie Little was also honored for being appointed to the All-State School Board at the North Carolina School Board Association’s conference in Greensboro on Nov. 17.
During the time for public comment, HOLLA! founder Leon Gatewood and The Caraway Foundation founder Angela Tina Caraway introduced a group of young boys and teens they had recently accompanied on an educational trip to Washington, D.C.
Caraway said she knew she was supposed to make the trip after a “vision was given to me by God.” Although she had to delay the trip when she was diagnosed with colon cancer, she immediately began preparations when her treatments were completed, setting up tours for the White House and other places in the nation’s capital.
Gatewood said he was excited to go on the trip and felt it benefited the teenagers and two first-graders who went.
He reminded the school board of a quote by Frederick Douglass.
“It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” he said.
Gatewood’s brother works at a radio show, and the boys were able to participate in it.
A few of the students who had gone on the trip spoke to the board, telling them that they learned more about themselves and “became brothers.” One said it helped them to “grow from teenagers into men,” and several recalled the nightly meetings the group had to talk about living a good life, dressing professionally and becoming men.
A 10th-grader said he was humbled by the trip.
“We met a lot of people who had been in D.C. for 30 years and had never been to the White House,” he said. “So it was a privilege.”
Caraway told the board that she plans to take a group of girls on an educational trip in the future.
The board will recognize more students at its December and January meetings.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.