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From the Desk of ACS Supt. David Burleson: Winter Challenges and Congratulations To …

March 10, 2014. To the Editor,

Supt. Burleson
Supt. Burleson

This past winter has brought with it a share of challenges. The cold, snowy weather in January and February forced us to close school a total of 17 days, with numerous delays and several early dismissals.  Those challenges have caused us to revise our calendar and our last day of school will be Friday, June 13.  This date coincides with most districts in state.  We have also been able to gain some time by adding thirty additional minutes per day to help us meet the new 1,025 hour requirement. We will plan to continue the additional thirty minutes through March.  Our hope is that winter is almost behind us, and we sill not be forced to take any days from our current spring break.

Even though this winter has brought its challenges, we have experienced many successes during these months.  For the first time in school history, Avery High School has had a swimming team.  This team was able to compete in several meets and plans to participate in additional meets next year.  Under the leadership of Lisa Vance, the team did a really good job, and we are proud of their efforts.

Our wrestling team had one of the most successful seasons in many years under the leadership of Coach Derrick Calloway and his staff.  This year’s team came in second in the conference, performed extremely well in the regional competition, and had a state champion in Ty Franklin and a state runner-up in Ryan Shepperd.  It is evident that the future looks very bright for Avery High School wrestling especially with the youth program that is in place coached by Waylon Griffith.

Our girl’s basketball team had a successful year, finishing second in our conference and making it into the state playoffs.  Coach Matt Wiseman and his staff did an excellent job with the women’s basketball team.  Our JV team went undefeated in the conference under the direction of Mrs. Allison Phillips.

Our men’s basketball team had an historic season with an undefeated conference record awarding them the Conference Championship title; Regional Championship title and an appearance in the Final Four of the 1A State playoffs.  Coach Scott Polsgrove, his staff, and each young man on the team is to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication.  The JV boys showed improvement each game and Coach Reggie Oaks has laid the groundwork for much future success.

We also want to thank our cheerleaders, who supported our teams throughout the season with their hard work and dedication.  We are very proud of the job Miss Britney Millsap has done with our cheerleaders.

As a school system, we want to personally thank all those who supported our winter sports programs.  We want to thank our student body for their support, but for the way they represented Avery County.  It was very  exciting to travel to Greensboro and see that we had the largest number of fans of any school represented in the sectional tournament.  On Wednesday night during the boy’s first round playoff game, Avery had more supporters than all the other schools put together.  This shows the caliber of our community, and its support of our young people. 

Academically our high school students did very well on the end of course tests given after first semester even though the winter weather delayed the tests for over three weeks.  In addition, we have the largest group of students in history representing Avery County at the state science fair completion in just a few weeks.  We are very proud of these students and know they will represent us very well. 

I cannot express enough how proud I am of Avery County Schools. We have some of the most dedicated teachers and school personnel of any school system in the country.  Our parents and community are extremely supportive of our school system and all our students.  Our Board of Education and our County Commissioners are dedicated to seeing that our students and schools have what they need to be successful, and there is no doubt that our students are second to none. 

We are looking forward to an exciting and early spring!


David Burleson