It was with heavy hearts that the Asheboro City Board of Education accepted the resignation of board member, Mrs. Joyce Harrington, after 34 years of service at their February meeting. Resigning because of personal-related issues, Mrs. Harrington stated it was not an easy decision. The board and Asheboro City Schools wishes to thank Mrs. Harrington and celebrate her dedication to public education over the past three decades.
Mrs. Harrington has devoted her entire adult life to public education. First as a secondary English teacher, then as a community college instructor, and since then as a 34-year veteran school board member. She was elected to serve on the Asheboro City Board of Education in December of 1985. Over the years, she has focused her considerable intellect and her experience toward helping schools find new and effective ways to connect with students and raise achievement. She has always believed education could changes lives, and she has always had a sense of urgency to fulfill the board’s mission to educate the next generation.
Mrs. Harrington’s boardsmanship has been upstanding model of her deeply-rooted core values. She has taken her position as a board member very seriously, even squeezing in heart by-pass surgery between board meetings so she would not miss a meeting. She has been a vocal advocate of boardsmanship training and has always made it a priority to attend North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) district and state conferences. During her 34-years on the board, she has amassed a remarkable 1,243 hours of training, earning her place in the NCSBA’s Scholar’s Circle. She was also named to the NCSBA’s All State Board in 1998. With her strong encouragement and support, the Asheboro City Board of Education undertook Master Board Training, and was the first in the state to complete Master Board III. She set the expectation that all members of the Asheboro City Board of Education should be well trained. In addition to chairing or serving on virtually every committee of the district, she also served as the Chairman of the board for the four-year term maximum allowed under local policy.
During her tenure, she has worked with numerous district superintendents including: Duane Mathias, Dr. Bob Gordon, Dr. Diane Frost, Dr. Terry Worrell, and now, Dr. Aaron Woody. She has witnessed the renovation and expansion of every single school in the district. Her leadership was integral in the building of the “new” Balfour Elementary School, the district’s five-star, nationally-accredited Early Childhood Development Center, and Asheboro High School’s newest, state-of-the-art, 40,000 sq. ft. addition (scheduled to open May 2020).
Mrs. Harrington has always been a forward thinker who embraces change. She has been innovative and quick to grasp the potential of a new idea. She has been strong advocate for student, teacher, and community interests, and she has never been afraid to challenge tradition in order to enhance student performance. In her 34 years, Mrs. Harrington has blazed the trail for a number of initiatives including: the Asheboro High School Zoo School; the elementary year-round school model; block-scheduling at Asheboro High School; the district’s 1:1 technology initiative; the shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction; the creation of unique, smaller learning communities; the emphasis on Career and Technical Education; and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs.
Long-time friend and fellow board member, Mrs. Linda Cranford, said, “It has been a joy to serve with someone who ‘gets it.’ Education has been Mrs. Harrington’s calling. As I look back over her tenure on the board, I realize the standard she has set and impact she has had on the thousands of children we have served. She has contributed enormously to the quality of board service and education in our area.”
Chairman Gidget Kidd, said, “Perhaps Joyce’s most enduring legacy will be serving as an example for our Board and those who will follow. The driving force behind her commitment to education is her belief in public schools and her conviction that, despite periodic false starts and occasional slow progress, public schools provide the best opportunity society has yet found for all its children to have a chance at developing their own potential.”
On behalf of the Asheboro City Board of Education and Asheboro City Schools, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Mrs. Joyce Harrington for the her unwavering commitment to bettering the lives of students, teachers, and families across Asheboro and Randolph County.