Zoning board approves school’s move

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 08:13 PM

A long-time Henderson teacher got the green light from zoning officials Tuesday to move her prairie-style one-room schoolhouse to an East Parker Street church’s fellowship hall.

Lead teacher Zeloma Rountree said that she and assistant teacher Melinda Shearin will continue to follow God’s principles in running North Henderson School, a K-12 education for their current 20 students using the A Beka Christian curriculum system.

Rountree has been teaching a classroom of K-12 students for nearly 30 years.

“We started June 7, 1985, and had our first graduation on May 30, 1986, with three students graduated,” Rountree said. “I have never asked anyone to come. I don’t advertise.”
Students just come her way by God’s design, she said.

Members of the Henderson Zoning Board of Adjustment quizzed Rountree on security, health, certification and graduation issues, and Rountree expressed a happy willingness to talk all about her school.

“I have my North Carolina teacher’s certification, although in North Carolina you don’t have to have it for non-public schools,” she said, adding she taught for a number of years locally before going in the direction of starting her own school.

She recalled her concerns back then that have only changed in intensity. She noted many students have never heard of songs like “The Grand Old Flag,” “God Bless America” or “America the Beautiful.”

“It really troubles me,” she said. “If we can help them, that’s what we’ll do.”

Families prepare meals to send with their children each day.

Henderson Zoning Administrator Sherry Moss introduced the matters up for decision: a special use permit for running the school within the facility of Centro Pentecostes Monte De Sion Church at 176 East Parker, and a variance on the 100-foot roadway setback generally required for schools.

“The property now is an existing church, and the school would locate in it,” Moss said, adding they would be a tenant, not run by the church but by independent administration under Rountree.

The new location is just outside city limits, and the school received the unanimous support of the city and ETJ board members.

North Henderson had been meeting at Forest Hills Baptist Church near Warrenton Road as its latest location, according to Moss.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.