Locals schools honor board members


First Posted: 1/28/2009

Board of Education members past and present came together at Mount Airy Middle School Wednesday for a luncheon in honor of school board appreciation month.
Nine former board members joined six of the seven current members in a celebration in their honor. The Mount Airy City Schools nutrition department provided lunch and the middle school chorus serenaded guests as they ate.
This luncheon is a tribute to those who have faithfully served as members of the Mount Airy City Board of Education. Thank you for your service and support, said Dr. Darrin Hartness, superintendent, pointing out that the city school system has been in existence since 1895.
Those present took time to introduce themselves and share their most exciting moment as a board member. A few of the present day members noted the 2008 state championship won by the Mount Airy High School Granite Bears football team as the most exciting moment to date.
That was great in a lot of different ways for the community and the school, said Phil Thacker, current board member. Im very happy to serve with such a great group.
Melvin Miles, former board member, noted that seeing Mount Airy Middle School built was one of the highlights of his tenure. The middle school was opened in 2000. Carol Burke, former board member, also noted school construction as one the highlights for her. She served on the board that got the bond referendum passed to build Jones Intermediate School.
We were determined to have a full-size gym even if we had to sell 3,000 candy bars, she joked.
George Speight said that he had been on the Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education since 1800 before clarifying that it has been 40 years since he served. Jack Snow served a brief three years as a board member beginning in 1976 before becoming a county commissioner, but noted that he enjoyed the time he did serve.
Dianne Lowry served in numerous positions within the school system before becoming a member of the school board after having children. She began as a special education teacher at the junior high school before moving to the guidance office and then the central office for speech therapy.
Hartness shared an update with the previous board members concerning what is going on in Mount Airy City Schools now. There were murmurs of excitement when the design for Mount Airy High Schools new commons area was shown on the screen. Hartness noted that not only will it be a benefit for students during lunch and for an entrance to basketball games, but that it would serve for events such as the luncheon.
Wendy Carriker, current board chairwoman, took time to make a few remarks before the current and former board members were given a token of appreciation from the central office.
Being on a board is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, said Carriker. Were a unique group. Were a family of sorts. Reflecting on the past allows us to move to the future. Thank you all for helping to lead the way.
Placed on a table at the luncheon was a collection of pictures depicting moments in the history of the Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education. With pictures from meetings to the ground breaking ceremony for the middle school, board members enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with one another. There were also plaques displaying the names of all of the former board chairs and all of the superintendents that have served the school system.
After the luncheon concluded, members of the student council at the middle school were available to give a tour of the school to anyone interested.
Those current and former board members present included Kate Appler, Carol Burke, Allen Burton, Wendy Carriker, Mike Hiatt, Dianne Lowry, Time Matthews, Cama Merritt, Melvin Miles, Robert Perkins, Jim Reeves, David Rowe, Jack Snow, George Speight, Phil Thacker and Richard Vaughn.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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