NEWBERRY — The Newberry County School Board gave special recognition on Monday to 20 student for making perfect scores on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) in various subjects.
“We honor a lot of students at these meetings for various achievements, but I could not be more proud to see this room packed, as it is tonight, for academic honors for both students and teachers,” School Superintendent Bennie Bennett said to a packed room.
The following students were honored:
• Gallman Elementary: Lacy Hawkins (English Language Arts) and Josue Gomez (math)
• Little Mountain Elementary: Kaitlyn Brown (math), Kyle Fulmer (math), Amber Lingefelt (science) and Emma Wicker (math)
• Pomaria-Garmay Elementary: Edith Elsenheimer (English Language Arts), Lawson Lominick (math and science), Jon Ruff (math and social studies)
• Prosperity-Rikard Elementary: Andrew Green (English Language Arts), Grayson Long (math), Sabrina Weng (math) and Semora Wise (math)
• Reuben Elementary: Ala Phillips (math)
• Whitmire Community School: Olivia Martin (math)
• Mid Carolina Middle: Jarrett Delk (science), Charlotte Delk (writing, English Language Arts and math), Morgan Hair (writing) and Jacob Wicker (math)
• Newberry Middle School: Trabia McFall (English Language Arts) and Zachary Rendelman (math).
Renne Joiner, fifth grade teacher from Little Mountain Elementary, was also honored for becoming a state-level finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
This is the nation’s highest honor for teachers in the field of math and science. To become a finalist, Joiner submitted documentation including an application, resume, research and reflection on her students and their growth using various data, lesson plans, assessments, recorded lessons and reflection articles.
Bennett followed by giving his superintendent’s report on the opening of all district schools, and the current enrollment numbers.
“If you think of all the things we talk about at these meetings, it takes a lot of work to get it done (opening schools),” said Bennett. “I have said it in the past, and I will say it again, we have a very strong team.”
District wide, the schools have a total of 6,082 students enrolled for the 2014-2015 school year, which is a slight increase from last year’s numbers, but Bennett believes that number will change.
“Enrollment at 135 days was less than the current enrollment of day five, but we will see how that goes,” said Bennett. “That number could possibly change by the end of the semester with transfers or other factors.”
Bennett also said it does not look like the district will have to transfer any teachers to another school within the district this year. He also said the district has one position open and hope to have it filled soon.
Board member Clyde Hill asked Bennett if any of the schools were close to becoming categorized as AAA.
“We are still a good ways off. Our schools are still at the middle of the pack,” said Bennett. “I think we will have some room before we get there.”
In other business:
• The board accepted the administration’s recommendation to hire Paul Laches (band) at Mid-Carolina Middle School, D. Wayne Bridges at the District Office (technology coach) and Hannah Collins at Newberry High School (chorus).
• The board received resignations from Laura Hicken at Mid-Carolina Middle School and Loretta Richey at Newberry Middle School.
• The board approved a bond resolution that will allow the district to keep the millage level the same as it has for the past 12 years.
• The board approved retaining Wells Fargo as underwriters, and refinance under a new financial program.
• Jim Suber gave updates on the Career Center. The complex is 99 percent complete. A few minor corrections will need to be made before the next inspection.
• Repaving at Newberry Middle School and Newberry High School is complete. All that is left are minor touch ups to the pavement.