Commissioners Hear From Schools, College
Representatives from Moore County public schools and Sandhills Community College praised the county commissioners Friday for their commitment to education.
Dr. Larry Upchurch, deputy superintendent of the school system, and Dr. John Dempsey, president of SCC also thanked the board for its working relationship with them.
"The relationship between the Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners is at a stage where we can all be really, really proud," Upchurch said. "Thank you for your support and everything you've done individually and as a group to support the students of Moore County."
Dempsey, who is completing his 20th year as president of SCC, thanked the commissioners for their continued support.
"In 20 years, I have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Moore County Board of Commissioners," he said. "It has historically supported the college at a high level of excellence. You understand the role it plays in the community."
Upchurch updated the commissioners on the school system's phased bond project, which got under way in earnest in 2008.
Construction has begun on the new middle school near Vass, and the bid opening for the new Pinehurst/West End elementary school has been set for April 7.
As part of the bond plan, renovations and improvements will be made to existing schools, including several water and sewer projects, and the upgrading of technology.
Upchurch said that while there's always a lot of talk about the necessity of making improvements, it is even better to take some real action.
"In our business, we talk a lot about meeting students' needs," he said. "It's awfully nice when you're able to do something about it."
Upchurch said one of the biggest goals set by Superinten-dent Susan Purser is to focus on how to make each individual student successful and to buy the appropriate tools to make that happen.
In the past, he said, school systems have spent a lot of money on those tools without tailoring them to meet students' needs.
"We're going to go back and start from where the need is," he said. "What does a kid need in the classroom to be successful?"
Part of that goal includes helping teachers implement those tools with the proper infrastructure, he added.
Dempsey, while he didn't have an extensive report, told the commissioners that enrollment at SCC was "unprecedentedly high" this year, up about 15 percent. He said this "robust enrollment" was a positive despite the bad economy.
"We're glad to be in a position to serve more and more people in this community," he said.
The college is in the midst of several renovation and improvement projects to upgrade some of the facilities at the school. Dempsey said he also anticipated that the college would request a similar budget to what it received last year.
"We understand the situation the county is in," he said.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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