The Bladen County Schools held their annual Opening Day Convocation on Tuesday morning at the Elizabethtown Middle School gym.
Dr. Tanya Head welcomed those in attendance to the event and Dr. Wilbur Smith brought greetings from the members of the Bladen County Board of Education.
Human Resources Director Dr. Antonia Beatty presented the 2016-17 Bladen County Teacher Assistant of the Year Kristy Smith. She is also serving as the District 4 Teacher of the Year as well. She is the wife of White Lake Police Chief Bruce Smith and they have two children.
Smith said that each person has a flame burning within them to make a difference in the lives of children.
Also presented was Cheryl West, Bladen County 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. She began her remarks by saying, “I give all the glory to God.”
West reflected on teachers and coaches throughout her life that made an impact on her life.
“When we come in every day, how we look, how we speak, impacts every moment,” said West.
She reminded her fellow educators that everything they do impacts the lives fo the children they teach. She remarked on a school a trip overseas, she noticed the majestic churches. She learned how the churches had withstood wars and other disasters. West said that made a lasting impression on her.
West is the wife of Alan West and they have three children.
Priscilla Brayboy was presented as the 2016-17 Principal of the Year. She is married to retired Warrant Officer Milton Brayboy.
“It is an honor and privilege to stand before you,” said Brayboy.
She noted that each every person there is a leader in some way. She said that each person might view themselves as just a bus driver, just a teacher’s assistant, or just a principal, but in reality, each of them is a leader.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor took the stage next and said, “We need you to survive” in reference to the many partnerships in the community. He recognized Bladen Community College, local law enforcement, and the faith-based community.
He noted that when the school system had to reduce the number of school resource officers, Sheriff Jim McVicker asked his officers to periodically stop by the schools during the day and spend some time at the schools.
Dr. Taylor noted that two incidents ocurred last year and the community came together in support fo the school system when a boiler malfunctioned at East Bladen high School and an there was an electrical issue at Dublin School.
Dr. Taylor also recognized the faculty and staff of Elizabethtown Middle School for their hard work this past academic year. He noted the school was rated as failing and they had a team come in and work with staff. He said this year the school achieved over 40 percent proficiency and met expected growth.
Also noted the reading and math scores have increased for the district. In third grade reading Dublin achieved 58 proficiency and in math the school achieved 65 percent proficient; Plain View Primary achieved 61 percent proficient in fourth grade reading and Booker T. Washington achieved 68 percent proficient on math. In fifth grade reading Bladenboro Middle school achieved 50 percent proficiency and in fifth grade math Elizabethtown Middle achieved 61 percent and in fifth grade science Bladenboro Middle achieved 75 percent.
In seventh grade reading CSD achieved 66 percent, in seventh grade math CSD achieved 53 percent proficiency.
In eighth grade science the entire school district achieved 56 percent proficiency.