Asheboro City Schools News Article

Asheboro City Board of Education - November Meeting Highlights

ASHEBORO - The Asheboro City Board of Education met for their regularly-scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the media center at South Asheboro Middle School. During the meeting, the Board celebrated retiring board members Archie Priest, Jr. and Art Martinez, they heard information about the district’s draft strategic plan, they approved to continue the  mask mandate currently in place, and they approved a bonus package for all Asheboro City Schools employees. Complete minutes from the November meeting will be uploaded to the ACS website following the December Board of Education meeting.

Opening
At promptly 7:30 p.m., Asheboro City Board of Education Chair, Michael B. Smith, called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. Following a moment of silence, fifth-grade students Michelle Beltran Alejo, Alexa Rebollar, Xander Bailey, and Stephanie Hernandez Vargas from Guy B. Teachey Elementary School led the Pledge of Allegiance. After approving the agenda as presented, the meeting then moved into the Special Recognition and Presentations portion of the meeting.

Special Recognition and Presentations
The Points of Pride report was delivered by Public Information Officer, Leigh Anna Marbert, and featured a variety of student, staff, and district highlights. Most notably from Points of Pride was the recognition of two Asheboro High School students, Yu Chen and Maggie Allred, who received the Randolph Sports Council’s Unsung Hero Award. The presentation also lifted up Ms. Leslie McKinnon from South Asheboro Middle School who was selected for the FOX8 Educator of the Week recognition. And the final highlight shared with the Board was the announcement that the Asheboro City Schools Education Foundation had received the largest pledge in its history which will amount to anywhere from $270,000 - $500,000 as a bequest of the anonymous donor’s estate.

The Community Partner Spotlight recognized Sunset Slush of Randolph County for their support of students and events at Guy B. Teachey Elementary School. Owners Jonathan and Kara Newton were in attendance to receive the award.

Next, Guy B. Teachey Principal, Ann Evans, showcased several videos of students and staff demonstrating how “Words have Power.” This initiative was started this school year as a way to demonstrate how words have the ability to shape our attitude, outlooks, and relationships. Each week one or two words are shared schoolwide and teachers discuss the meaning of the word with their students and look for ways to use the words in context. The project is fun and engaging, and the school hopes to add 60+ new words to student’s vocabulary throughout the school year.

The next special recognition was presented to the district’s Exceptional Children (EC) Educator of Excellence, Ms. Udenia Icenhour, an Extended Content Teacher at Guy. B. Teachey Elementary School. Director of EC, Tracie Ross, recognized Ms. Icenhour by sharing, “What sets Ms. Icenhour apart is her ability to create and nurture relationships with her students and their families. As a parent to a child with Autism, Ms. Icenhour has a gift for sharing her own experiences which allows for strong and trusting relationships with her students’ families. She is able to provide guidance not only as an educator, but as a parent too.” Ms. Icenhour will also be recognized at the EC Annual Conference hosted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction later this month.

Dr. Drew Maerz, Director of Student Support Services and the District Athletic Director, followed with a special presentation for Asheboro High School student-athlete, Salem Lee. Miss Lee landed fifth-place overall at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3A Girls Golf Tournament on Tuesday, October 26 at Foxfire Resort and Golf in Pinehurst, NC. Upon conclusion of the state tournament, Miss Lee had earned 296 points and she finished with a score of 164. Dr. Maerz congratulated her and presented her with a plaque for the Mid-Piedmont Championship Player of the Year.

To conclude the Special Recognition and Presentations portion of the meeting, Dr. Aaron Woody, Superintendent recognized retiring board members Mr. Archie Priest, Jr. and Mr. Art Martinez. Mr. Martinez retires from the Board after serving from April 2020 - November 2021 and Mr. Priest retires after serving since he was elected in 2003, nearly two decades ago. Both were presented with plaques for the years of service and books of their choosing were purchased by the district to be donated to the media center at Asheboro High School. The Board will welcome newly-elected board members, Mr. Adam Hurley and Mrs. Hailey Trollinger Lee at the December meeting.

Public Comments
One person requested to address the Board during Public Comment, Mrs. Kristy Priest, wife of retiring board member Mr. Archie Priest, Jr. Mrs. Priest shared her heartfelt gratitude for each board member for their service and dedication to the students and staff of Asheboro City Schools.

Superintendent’s Report
During his report to the Board, Dr. Woody shared updates about the following:

Dual Language Immersion: Dr. Woody shared that a committee has been meeting to discuss the expansion of
    the Dual Language Immersion Program at our secondary schools. He explained a detailed plan for review and
    consideration would be presented at the January 2022 meeting. He also said an additional elementary school in
    ACS is exploring the possibility of implementing a third Dual Language Immersion program.

Field of Honor: The district will again partner with the Asheboro Randolph Chamber of Commerce and the
    Asheboro Rotary Club to host the annual Field of Honor at South Asheboro Middle School in honor of Veteran’s
    Day. This event, featuring 500 American flags, will be on display from Thursday, November 11 - 14. An opening
    ceremony will take place on Thursday (Nov. 11) at 12 p.m. and a closing will be held on Sunday (Nov. 14) at 3
    p.m.

American Education Week: The district will recognize all staff the week prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 15-19) for
    American Education Week. This weeklong celebration is a time to come together to lift up public education and
    every individual working to ensure that every student receives a quality education.

Consent Agenda:
The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved which included minutes from the October meeting of the Asheboro City Board of Education, personnel transactions, and a number of policies that have been up for 30-day review since the October meeting.

Information, Reports, and Recommendations:
Dr. Maerz presented 15 policies that are up for public review for the next 30 days. These policies are located on the Board Policies up Public Review page on the Asheboro City Schools website. The next item on the agenda was an update from Director of Facilities and Maintenance, Mr. Chris Scott, about facility projects taking place throughout the district. As it stands, the complete renovation of Asheboro High School is on track.

The final presentation shared was by Dr. Woody focused on the district’s draft four-year strategic plan. The plan is also up for 30-review on the ACS website. Before the December meeting (December 9), the district encourages community feedback on the draft plan. Highlights of the plan include draft Vision and Mission statements, strategic plan goals, and value statements including:

Draft ACS Vision
Every student will have equitable access to engaging learning that transforms life outcomes and prepares them to be collaborative, competitive, and successful in our global world.

Draft ACS Mission
Asheboro City Schools engages students in educational opportunities and experiences that elevate lifelong learning, cultivates exceptional thinkers, and empowers students to design their own futures.

Draft Strategic Plan Goals
ACS will create a process of continuous improvement with clear, focused direction.
ACS will cultivate the expertise of stakeholders to be focused on a collective purpose.
ACS will improve the learning-teaching process by establishing clear learning goals, building precise pedagogies, and strengthening resources and academic programming.
 
Draft Values
Revolutionary Learning
Inclusiveness
Teamwork
Wellness and Safety

Action Items
During the Action Items portion of the meeting, the Board voted 9-2 to continue the mask mandate for all students and staff across the district. The Board said they would revisit the possibility of removing the mask mandate at the December meeting. The Board approved unanimously (five members had to recuse themselves because of conflict of interest) to approve a retention bonus for all staff. The bonus is in the amount of $5,000 and the Board approved a one percent (1%) increase to local supplement for all staff as well. Staff were notified by email immediately following the Board’s approval.
 
The final action item was presented by Lead Social Worker, Tena Lester, for the approval of a partnership with Youth Haven Services for a day treatment program for eligible students to be facilitated at North Asheboro Middle School. This program, the first of its kind in Randolph County, will help many of our most vulnerable students displaying the greatest mental and emotional needs. The program will provide students with a number of supports including individual and group therapy, while also meeting our students academic needs as well.
 
Board Operations:
In Board Operations, Chairman Smith shared a number of events taking place throughout the district, especially as we approach the holiday season.
 
Adjournment:
The meeting was adjourned at 9:56 p.m.
 
The Asheboro City Board of Education will meet for their December meeting on Thursday, December 9, 2021. An agenda for the meeting will be posted by Monday, December 6. Should you have any questions, please contact Clerk to the Board, Angel Etheridge at 336-625-5104.
 
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