DOBSON — Corporate sponsors for the First Lego League (FLL) Robot run of Surry County were recognized at the board’s regular meeting on Monday night in addition to honors for outgoing school superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson.
School Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson and board members recognized a total of eight firms for being directly responsible for providing funding and mentors for the FLL. Director of Communications, Instructional Media and Teacher Quality Sonia Dickerson explained the league involves students in problem solving, teamwork, collaboration and design.
Those recognized included Renfro Corporation CEO and President Bud Kilby; Insteel Chairman, President and CEO H.O. Woltz; Northern Hospital of Surry County CEO Bill James; NCFI Executive Vice President Jud Brown; AES Inc. CBO Joe Hughes; Surry County Economic Development President Todd Tucker; SouthData CEO John Springthorpe; and SouthData Executive Vice President Alan Connolly.
Mount Airy Middle School mentors recognized included Tracy Webster, Matilda Radcliff, Justin Bartley, D.J. Montgomery and Joan Inman. Meadowview Middle School mentors named were Steven Krause, Shirley Gauvin, Rich Gasser and Jason Phillips. Central Middle School mentors honored were Maranda Atkins, Jeff Wilmoth, Abbie Baugess, Mike May and Holly and Mark Hooker.
Pilot Mountain Middle School mentors named included Dale Marshall, Steve Roberson, John Conely, Kenny Meredith and Lyle Bullington. Gentry Middle School’s mentors honored were Becky Eaton, Mark Anderson, Alicia Easter, Kevin Hoffman and Tom McCluskey.
Dickerson said county schools have 12 teams in four middle schools and Mount Airy Middle School sponsors two teams. Hinson explained that the league has four main components, Core Values, Project, Robot Design and Robot Table Missions. Core values include respecting other’s decisions and cooperate toward solutions. The project involves students and a senior partner choosing a problem senior citizens face and coming up with a creative and innovative solution. Typically in competition they have five minutes to share the ideas with a judge.
The other two components are robot design where students design their Lego robot and any attachments to improve performance and accomplish tasks during missions on a tabletop course. Teams must then program their robot to accomplish as many missions on the table as possible in 2.5 minutes. Mission’s are related to senior citizens staying active, interacting with others and remaining independent.
On Saturday, all 14 teams will compete for the championship at Meadowview Middle School. The tournament is set to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The board also was asked to recognize the value of its partnership with Surry Community College in developing the Surry Early College. According to Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum Dr. Terri Mosley, the early college opened on the SCC Dobson campus in the fall of August of 2006 with only ninth grade.
College President Dr. David Shockley and college Vice President for Curriculum Programs Dr. Jami Woods were recognized for their efforts to provide college access to county students.
“The Surry Early College has graduated two classes and has been recognized for a 100 percent high school graduation rate. To date 114 students have graduated with their high school diplomas and college credit hours while 58 of those have received on or more associate degrees from Surry Community,” commented Mosley.
Mosley said the early college expanded to offer carpentry 111 and 112 and a certified nursing assistant program as well as students building a Habitat for Humanity house on the North Surry High School campus. She said the NC New Schools Project, North Surry and East Surry High School are included in the North Carolina investing in Rural Innovative Schools grant this year.
This grant expands access to college coursework to more students in county schools and ongoing efforts are under way to coordinate coursework through SCC. The project and Valley Career Academy also made it possible for Surry Central to be selected to participate in a regional Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics projects towards a college technical degree for students.
Shockley told the board that while he looks forward to working with new school superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves, he will miss Hinson.
“It’s not that I am not excited about the opportunity to work with your new superintendent,” began Shockley. “Out of seven I have worked with in my career, he’s up there as one of the best. I tell you this. He’s still working and hasn’t quit. We are going to miss him.”
Board Chairman Earlie Coe read a proclamation declaring December as Dr. Ashley Hinson Appreciation Month.
“It is amazing how nine years fly,” said Hinson. “Not so long ago I was right here in this very room on the hot seat. I thought I’d retire as a coach but the opportunity given me by the board gave me a chance I never expected to achieve. The work I’ve done here has been a joy and I’ll always feel that way.”
Board members shared memories with Hinson before he was taken outside the offices in Dobson to stand in front of a white county school bus. The board shouted “Bus Driver. Move that Bus” to reveal a newly renovated bus with a likeness of Hinson waving on the doors. He was told this “magic” school bus would be used to take him on his last visits to schools in the district that each plan a farewell ceremony this month to honor him.
Sponsors for the bus’ renovation included WIFM Radio, Surry Telephone, Finishline Graphics and Hampton Inn and Suites of Dobson.
In other action, the board chose to authorize a project to Little Diversified Architectural Consulting to re-roof White Plains Elementary School.
Board legal counsel Fred Johnson gave the board information of a proposal with the Pilot Mountain Foundation to give the board exclusive control and supervision of the use of Palmer Field with the understanding East Surry High School will have priority over use of the field as well as the Pilot Mountain Little League program.
The contract could extend for 25 years with the board paying an estimated $10,000 yearly with an option for adjustments to this payment after five years if overall operational expenses warrant it. No formal action will be taken on the proposal until a formal contract is presented in the board.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.