DOBSON — The Surry County Board of Education met in a special session Thursday evening at Surry Central High School to name a new school superintendent. Its choice amounted to a homecoming of sorts for the candidate.
Dr. Travis L. Reeves was unanimously named to the post which will be vacated at the end of the year by Dr. Ashley Hinson, who is retiring. Reeves presently serves a superintendent of Ashe County Schools. Reeves will begin his duties January 1, 2013 and the term of his contract extends to June 30, 2016.
According to Surry County Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe, he was selected from 24 candidates for the position.
“One of the things that helped us make this decision was his (Reeves) five years experience as a superintendent,” said Coe. “He is well thought of throughout the state as an educational leader. He also had very good references with very strong recommendations from the people he had down.”
Vice Chairman Brian Gates said he was impressed with the way Reeves conducted himself in the interviews.
“I was impressed with the way he could definitely command a room in a respectful manner and listen to all sides,” said Gates. “He impressed me as a leader among leaders. He is a well respected seated superintendent that brings an air of credibility in and of itself. The combination of the respect he has and our school system has earned across the state when paired together is destined for greatness.”
Reeves said he was attracted by the county schools statewide for innovation.
“Surry County is a leader in the state in many areas,” said Reeves. “This is a great school system. They seek out innovative ideas and implement them.” He also said his familiarity with the area and knowledge of the quality of people in the system also attracted him to apply for the post.
Reeves is an Alleghany County High School graduate and received his undergraduate degree from Radford University. He earned his master’s degree from Gardner Webb University and his educational specialist and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
He has served as Ashe County Superintendent since 2009. Previously Reeves was a coach at Mount Airy High School, taught at Mount Airy Junior High and middle school. He was an assistant principal of Mount Airy Middle and principal at Jones Intermediate School and held principal posts at East Montgomery High School and Eastern Guilford High School.
Reeves received recognition for his uniting the community following a fire which destroyed Guilford High in 2007. Reeves is married to the former Leslie Conner of Mount Airy, who is a Mount Airy High School Graduate. The couple have two children, Weatherly, age 8 and Ridge, age 4. Other family members present at the event included Wanda and Larry Conner and Sylvia and Richard Reeves.
“My educational philosophy is centered around students and putting their needs first,” Reeves stated. “I believe that school should be challenging for all students, yet fun and rewarding. I believe that as educator it is our job to model and create an educational environment that is rich in experiences that will enhance the lives of our students.”
Reeves said he felt it important to include opportunities for students to work in collaborative settings, use critical thinking skills and apply technology in learning at school and home.
“I believe that public education should be a partnership between the students, parents, schools and community members. In order for this partnership to grow and prosper we must communicate our needs and model a collaborative spirit,” added Reeves. “Through my experience leading a variety of educational organizations, I have found that collaborative relationships are the key to inspiring community support for quality education.”
He described his style of leadership as one where he would develop a common vision and common goals all staff members felt important. He said the process was as straightforward as building on the successes already present in the district.
“I would give them (staff) a voice in this process and the freedom and flexibility to implement the vision. I have an open door policy and value listening to others.”
Reeves presently serves as a member of the Jefferson Rotary Club, vice chairperson of the Ashe County Emergency management board and the Ashe County Economic Development Council. He also served previously as a volunteer coach for Ashe County Parks and Recreation and Ashe county Youth Soccer. he is a member of the Appalachian State University Public School Partnership board, a member of the advisory board for the School of Education at UNC-G and on the board of directors of the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.