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Watauga County Schools Administrators Prepare Gifts for Local Law Enforcement

Bobby Creed, Scott Elliott, Kat Eller and Lance Rector met to deliver WCS gift bags to Boone PD.

As part of Watauga County Schools preparation for the upcoming school year, the district’s principals, administrators and central office staff met for a day of education and collaborative planning this week at the district’s annual day-long leadership retreat. The theme for this year’s retreat and the upcoming school year is “stronger together.”

Each year, the team dedicates a portion of their time to arranging a project that will help out a member of the community in some way. This year, the group elected to construct care packages for members of local law enforcement. 

Superintendent Scott Elliott said he’d spoken to deputies and officers whose changing and unpredictable schedules sometimes required them to skip meals and go for long periods of time without a break. After gathering input from Boone Police Department Community Resource Officer Kat Eller, Elliott decided that the school system’s leadership staff would pack gift bags of snacks, drinks and other goodies for officers to pick up on their way out of the station. The team compiled over 100 gift bags with each bag also containing a handwritten note of appreciation to the officers. 

This week Elliott and members of his team delivered the gift bags to the officers of the Blowing Rock Police Department, Boone Police Department, and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. 

“Most of us take for granted that we will have time in the day to stop for a meal or to take a quick break when needed,” Elliott said. “For our law enforcement officers, that isn’t always the case. As a gesture of our appreciation for their tireless work, our staff wanted to pack bags of snacks and drinks they could carry in their patrol cars so they’d have one less thing to worry about over the course of their day.”

“Whether it’s the long list of services that our school resource officers provide to us, or the innumerable things our law enforcement partners across the county do to ensure our safety, we wouldn’t be able to have the quality school system we do without their help. This was just one small way to say that we are genuinely grateful,” Elliott said.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman commented on the close working relationship between local law enforcement and the Watauga County Schools. 

“We appreciate the support from our schools and education leaders more now than ever. We are fortunate to have a close bond with all our community partners, especially the school system. It is this kind of heartfelt kindness that really sets us apart from many other communities.”

Patrick Anderson, WCS Director of Facilities Jeff Trexler, Sheriff Len Hagaman, Superintendent Scott Elliott and Carolyn Johnson met to exchange gift bags.