Education Foundation awards teacher grants
by Kellen Short
The Watauga Education Foundation recognized more than two dozen local teachers Monday at the Board of Education meeting as the recipients of grants aimed at funding creative classroom projects.
The nonprofit foundation has given away more than $250,000 in the past 10 years through its annual teacher grants. The organization's largest annual fundraisers are the Flapjack Flip in early December and the Shooting Stars talent show each spring.
"It's really a pleasure each year when we read through the grants to see the creativity of the teachers," said Andrea Capua, a member of the WEF Board of Directors.
This year's awards ranged from $502 to $2000 and were presented to: Tom Brown, Elayne Bishop, Lisa Combs, Trudy Moss, Judy Brown, Tim Walker, Gloria Miller, Eunice Johnson, Jake Orange, Anne Sukow, Beaver Robinette, Natalie Willis, Susan Miller, Anne Donadio, Patricia Sperry, Darcy Grimes, Amy Miller, Christy Welch, Bronwyn Merritt, Theresa Red, John Henson, Jordan Taylor, Tyler Deal, Judd Pinnix, Candice Trexler and Amy Hiatt.
The Board of Education also celebrated the selection of Regina Parsons-Allen as the 2013 Exceptional Children Teacher of Excellence. Based at Hardin Park, Parsons-Allen provides occupational therapy to students countywide and has 16 years of experience.
She will be recognized with a reception in November at the Department of Public Instruction.
On Monday, the Board of Education also:
-- Welcomed international teachers visiting through Appalachian State University's Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program.
-- Received an update on dropout prevention efforts aimed at exceptional children.
-- Received an update on the Read to Achieve program, which will be further explained to parents at conferences this fall.
-- Received an update on the 1:1 technology pilot program ongoing at Mabel School.
-- Received an update on ACT and SAT test results for the district.
-- Approved several field trip requests, including an international field trip to Italy planned for July 2014. Interim Superintendent David Fonseca warned about the potential issues with sending students overseas and recommended that the board create a policy guiding international trips.
-- Approved a contract with Western Youth Network to assist with drug and alcohol prevention strategies.
-- Approved personnel changes.
-- Approved on first reading changes to the Technology Policy and the Board Committees policy, and approved on second reading amendments to the Distance Learning Policy.
-- Again discussed a proposal to overhaul school system policies.
-- Planned for a work session Nov. 1 to discuss numerous topics.
-- Met in closed session to discuss reportable criminal offenses, student records and personnel.
The board's next meeting has been rescheduled from Nov. 11 to Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. due to the Veterans' Day holiday.