The Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday was dominated by a preliminary report from principals examining school and school district partnerships.
The report was presented by Coordinator of Student Services Jesse Hiatt. He said that the report will be used in connection with the district’s strategic plan revision project already under way. Hiatt said the goal is that by better understanding partnerships, Mount Airy Schools can continue to grow the relationships to further benefit the community.
Hiatt said the report broke down partnerships in five categories. The categories are partnerships that are faith based, educational, civic, government and business. Hiatt told the board he was not sure he had answers for them at this stage although he encouraged the board to come up with questions about partnerships.
Board member Kate Appler said she felt that while it was nice the schools listed everyone who helped them, she had wished to see more long-term working partnerships reflected in the report.
“This is what we’ll be developing as we move forward with the strategic plan,” answered Hiatt. “Really that’s the purpose of a strategic plan for our schools. It is to keep us focused.” He told the board that he felt attention could be directed towards how partnerships were formed and why some groups appear to be working with certain schools.
Hiatt told the board that the second grouping listed in the report contained 139 partnerships involved with helping the school system. Board member Phil Thacker said that having this group of lists would not be a bad starting point for building partnerships.
Hiatt said the final page of the report listed Polly Long’s eLink program which provides employment opportunities for at-risk youth.
“Her students are going out into the community and doing something for them (the participating employers),” commented Hiatt. “This is not someone coming in and doing something for the school system. Her program provides a service for the community. Everyone benefits.”
Chairman Wendy Carriker voiced a concern that each school soliciting businesses could be overwhelmed with requests for help. She said understanding partnerships could allow the district to more strategically approach businesses for support.
“This report is step one for us to hone in on making Mount Airy a better place with these partnerships,” said School Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little. “The thing that impresses me is that such a small school district has so many people involved. It’s an accomplishment to have so many partnerships. It speaks well of the hearts of our community.”
In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Mount Airy High School personal finance teacher Joey Hearl effective Oct. 12. Hearl had previously served as principal of Mount Airy Middle School for four years and was an assistant principal at Chestnut Grove Middle School in Stokes County for two years.
In a telephone interview, Hearl confirmed that he had accepted a position as principal of Meadowlark Middle School in Winston-Salem and would be reporting there for duty on Oct. 15.
“At this time we have no plans to relocate,” said Hearl. “We’re going to keep things the way they are at this time. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had with Mount Airy City Schools. I am fortunate to have developed life-long friendships here and will miss all my colleagues and friends I’ve made in Mount Airy.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or at 719-1952.