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From Desk of ACS Supt. Burleson: Class of 2015 Earned $810,000 in Scholarships

Supt. Burleson
Supt. Burleson

By ACS Supt. David Burleson

I want to personally thank everyone for a very successful opening of another school year. Our faculty and staff have put forth a tremendous effort to make sure that our schools were ready for student to return on Aug. 17. I also want to thank each of our parents for their patience and understanding as we got all the details worked out at the beginning of the school year. From bus transportation to food services, much work has gone into making sure that our students had a successful start to school.

I want to remind everyone that if you have questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to let us know. Please know that you are welcome to come to my office or to call me concerning anything that would make the Avery County Schools better.

As we look forward to a successful 2015-2016 school year, I want to let everyone know of the success of the class of 2015. This class earned $810,313 in scholarships. This speaks volumes about not only the quality of the students of Avery County Schools, but also the generosity of many in our community. These scholarships were at the federal, state, local levels. We are so grateful to each of our local sponsors who provided our students the opportunity to further their education. Of the 152 graduates from 2015, this is a breakdown of where our students are going:

SCHOOL                                    # STUDENTS

Four-Year                                                 60

Community College                                 60

Military                                                       4

Work                                                         25

Trade School                                               2

Public Institution (4 Year)                         46

Private Institution (4 Year)                       13

Two-Year Institution                                 62

Work                                                         25

Appalachian State                                     12

ETSU                                                         13

UNC Chapel Hill                                        3

Mayland                                                     49

Caldwell Community College                     3

NC State                                                     5

Lees McRae                                              4

UNC Charlotte                                           3

Western Carolina University                     5

Other School                                             22

Also, over 62 percent of the class of 2015 earned at least one college credit while in high school. These graduates have represented the Avery County Schools and our community extremely well, and I am sure they will continue to do so.

As the class of 2016 enters their senior year, there is and will continue to be preparation for graduation, college, and/or a career. As a school system, it is our desire to provide parents with all the information needed for their child to move into the future successfully. During the course of the school year, our College and Career counselor, Mrs. Libby Gragg, will have a variety of activities and meetings for both students and parents. Mrs. Gragg does a wonderful job supporting our students, and she can be credited with much of the work done to obtain scholarships for them. The first financial aid meeting has already been held for the class of 2016, and many more will follow. I encourage parents of seniors to be involved in these meetings and other activities that will be provided to help them navigate the upcoming challenges for their children in life after high school. If you have questions about scholarships or financial aid, please contact us. Mrs. Gragg may be reached at the high school (733-0151), or you may contact me at 733-6006.

Another opportunity for students who would like to get an early start on preparations for college or a career is our Avery Scholars Program, also coordinated by Mrs. Libby Gragg. This program provides students in middle school and high school with information they need to make plans for their future. Students also have the opportunity to take field trips to visit colleges, to do community service, to obtain information about needed high school classes, to participate in internships, and a variety of other activities designed to support students.

Again, we appreciate the support of our community; we are thankful to live in a place where education and children are important. Together, we can help our young people make their dreams and ambitions a reality.