School program notches fourth straight honor

Jan. 15, 2013 @ 07:06 PM

Monday night’s meeting of the Vance County School Board recognized the accomplishments of students and staff throughout the county. Board members, past and present, were also honored.

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction recognized Zeb Vance Elementary as an exemplary school in the instruction of Public Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS).

For the fourth consecutive year Zeb Vance was honored at the highest level for their use of PBIS, a program providing schools with capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

“PBIS is a framework of our school,” said Anne Garrison, principal at Zeb Vance. “We love it, we live by it, and it’s a mode for everyone to use.”

Garrison, who stood in front of the board with fellow staff members and students, took a moment to acknowledge board members.

“We noticed it was school board appreciation month, so we could not let that go without mentioning that, too,” Garrison said. “So, we’re going to present to you our school board members this evening the Zeb Vance cookbook.

“This is something we make and sell at our school to raise funds.”

Northern Vance’s Engineering Club was recognized by the board for being one of five high schools selected from across the state as a finalist for N.C. State University’s Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation.

Their invention, called Sirocco, was designed to dislodge dust interfering with a computer’s critical functioning parts. A prototype of the design, created by Salare Inc., on Parham Spring Lane in Henderson, was on display.

“We were picked to be in the finals, one of five high school teams in the state to reach the finals, so we’re really excited about that,” said Jeff Arthurs, honors engineering teacher at Northern Vance. “From here on out, the winner is picked solely on votes on the Internet, so we are out in the community just about every night.”

Voting will begin on Feb. 4 and continue through Feb. 11. Arthurs encouraged board members to help spread the word on voting.

“I’m really proud of these guys,” Arthurs said. “They have worked very hard, and really excelled at a very high level, and we’re going to win this thing.”

The team of engineering students will be competing against schools of science and mathematics. They are the only team from a school in rural North Carolina to reach the finals, making community support vital for the competition.

“This is a community thing. We’re getting everybody in Vance County behind this thing, to vote for us,” Arthurs said.

As part of school board appreciation month, Vance County School’s Funtastic Kids Club presented the board with tokens of appreciation.

Each board member received a candy bar, hand-written note, and plaque presented by children taking part in the afterschool program active at elementary schools throughout the county.

Superintendent Ronald Gregory unveiled an engraved rocking chair for Ronald B. Kinsley, a former board member of 16 years.

Kinsley spent 37 years as an educator in Vance County. He chose not to run for re-election last year after being redistricted.

Gregory also identified board members, announcing their total hours of service since joining the board. Emeron Cash, a board member representing District 5, has the most among active members with more than 901 hours.

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.