US News & World Report puts East Surry on elite list

David Broyles Staff Reporter

September 27, 2013

PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Surry County Schools Spotlight on Educational Excellence opened on a high note Thursday night at East Surry High School as school Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves announced East Surry High School has been named one of the Top 30 High Schools in North Carolina by US News & World Report.

“I want everyone to feel good about this,” said Reeves, who explained the ranking decisions are made on factors including student to teacher ratios, how seniors performed on their Advanced Placement tests and how they performed in math and reading on their state exit exams.

Reeves told the audience assembled in the gymnasium the district focuses on academics but that was not the only focus. He stressed that art, social, extracurricular activities and athletics are also very important to student development.

“As students grow they learn from these areas just like they do from a test,” Reeves said. “This event is to showcase students’ talents and to offer parents a chance to learn about all we offer. We are large enough to have a lot to offer and small enough to care.”

Assistant Superintendent Charles Graham gave an overview of the night’s program and told parents that faculty and staff had set up poster sessions which were 15 minutes in length covering topics such as early reading legislation, career and technical education, the Career and College Promise program and the Surry County Schools Virtual Academy. He said staffers had worked hard on simplifying the challenging topics to be more parent friendly.

“I hope you all will take the time to get a little closer to the Surry County Schools,” said Graham. “This is your opportunity to get inside the building to see what’s going on. Of course we know you are probably here because of the student showcases tonight.”

Showcases in the lobby of the school included robotics, chorus performances from elementary, middle and high schools and culminated with a performance by the Cardinal High School Band on the front lawn. This was the third such event, with spotlight programs held previously at Surry Central and North Surry.

“It’s been a little different in each district,” said Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Jill Reinhardt. “Communities and parents have been well pleased. I think it’s been enjoyable for them to see elementary, middle and high school talent showcased because we’re looking at the whole experience. It’s different because we have parents from literally pre-k through twelfth grade in one event and further if you consider the college level represented by the Career and College Promise.”

Reinhardt said “parents, grandparents and aunts” were all supportive of children and said the district wants children to feel that community spirit as they make a transition from elementary to middle and then to high school.

Information booths in the gym included science, technology, engineering, math, academic competitions, Health School Initiatives, the Surry Early College, services for exceptional children, services for students speaking English as a second language, bus safety, the JROTC program, pre-kindergarten services and the Surry County Schools Education Foundation.

Reach David Broyles at or 336-719-1952.