June 23, 2014.
Once again, I want to congratulate the members of the class of 2014 and wish them well as they enter a new phase of their life. We congratulate our students for their diligence and perseverance. Every day as I go into the schools, I am amazed at the wonderful young people we’re educating. They are well behaved, courteous, polite, and compassionate toward others. This year our students have shown that caring about others and working together for a common cause are some of life’s most important lessons. The preliminary results show that our students performed well on testing and other accountability measures. Our high school students continue to excel not only on end-of-year tests but also in securing scholarship monies to attend college. This year’s seniors received over $475,000 in scholarships. We are very proud of our graduates and will lift them up consistently in our thoughts and prayers. We challenge them to continue making us as proud as they have over the past thirteen years of their schooling.
Our students are most fortunate to have wonderful teachers, support staff, and members of the school community to care and work with them. We have custodians who take pride in maintaining clean buildings, bus drivers who take seriously the transporting of our children, and cafeteria workers who take great care and love in preparing meals for our pupils. Our maintenance staff works long hours to make sure that each of the buildings in our school system are maintained in the best possible condition. The transportation staff continues to keep our 31 buses in top mechanical condition and our bus drivers are the best you will find anywhere. We have teacher assistants who work tirelessly to support the educational needs of every child. Our secretaries and clerical workers perform their tasks diligently to benefit our children.
It is impossible to put into words how much our teachers care about their students and what educators do daily to impact children’s lives. It’s hard to imagine where any of us would be without those special teachers who have meant so much to us. A great teacher’s true legacy is in his/her former students who practice the lifelong lessons he/she taught them and who become the wonderful, productive citizens of tomorrow. Additionally, we are privileged to have wonderful principals and school board members who care deeply about their schools and communities. They work tirelessly to ensure that students and faculty have everything they need to be successful.
Now, we start educating our children earlier than ever before. Our community benefits from six Pre-K classrooms in our elementary schools along with our mobile Pre-K classroom, SCOTTIE. It is our philosophy to prepare every student for a successful entrance into school; we want to help each one of our students be ready for the best possible educational experience.
We welcome your involvement and participation in your child’s educational journey. The relationship between the school and parents is vital for student success. This year ACS will strive to increase community and parent involvement in all our schools. We encourage you to be a part of your community school, to volunteer your time, to provide resources for students, and to be available when the school needs an extra hand. In order to meet the needs of all of our students, it takes all of us working together. If you have a desire to help in any way, please contact your local school. They will be glad to hear from you and you will be making an incalculable investment in Avery County’s future!
Proper enrollment is also an important factor in beginning the new school year. If you are a parent of a child who will turn five years old on or before August 31, please contact your community school and enroll your child as soon as possible. If you are unsure about your child’s school district, please feel free to call our Central Services office at 733-6006. If you have a child who will be four on or before August 31, an excellent pre-school program is also available. Please contact your neighborhood school for registration procedures and enrollment.
In August, parents will be invited to an open house at each school to tour the facility and meet the teachers and staff. Please take advantage of every opportunity to know your school’s staff. As a community, we are very fortunate to have the quality individuals we have working in Avery County Schools. Our students’ success depends on them!
Here are some dates to keep in mind as you set your family calendar for this summer and next year:
Monday, June 23 – First Day of Summer School
Thursday, June 26 – Avery School Board Meeting – Commissioners’ Meeting Room – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8 – Avery School Board Meeting – Commissioners’ Meeting Room – 6 p.m.
Monday, July 14 to Thursday, July 17 – Science Camp with ASU
Wednesday, July 23 to Thursday, July 24 – Leadership Training
Monday, July 28 to Thursday, July August 31 – Drama Camp – Avery High School
Monday, August 4 to Wednesday, August 6 – ASU Leadership Workshop
Thursday, August 7 to Monday, August 11 – New Teacher Orientation – Central Services – 9 a.m.
Tuesday, August 12 – First Optional Workday
Tuesday, August 12 – Avery School Board Meeting – Commissioners’ Meeting Room – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, August 13 – Optional Workday
Thursday, August 14 – Required Workday/Convocation – Avery High School – 7:30 a.m.
Friday, August 15 – Required Workday
Saturday, August 16 – Back to School Celebration – Land Harbors – 10 a.m.
Monday, August 18 – First Day of School for Students
Personally, I am thankful to call Avery County home and to be a part of the wonderful people who live here. Children will always be our most precious resource and I am grateful that our community believes in the best education possible for each of them. With the help of outstanding parents and the support of our community, we can and will help each student succeed. As a school community, please continue to lift each member of our school system and me up in prayer. We need your continued support, suggestions, and encouragement to help every boy and girl be the best he or she can be. Always know that your opinions and concerns are very important and I welcome them. Have a wonderful summer with your family!