Schools' Ribbon Cuttings Draw Crowds
Hundreds cheered during official ribbon cuttings last Friday for two new schools - West Pine Elementary and Crain's Creek Middle.
The crowds included the entire student bodies of both schools, teachers and other school personnel, school board members, county commissioners and other local government officials.
The first ceremony took place at 9 a.m. at West Pine Elementary on the walkway entrance to the school, which is at 272 Archie Road, directly behind West Pine Middle School. The $8.2 million school includes 66,690 square feet and has 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade
At 10:30 a.m., the ceremony for Crain's Creek Middle took place. The school is at 4625 Union Church Road, five miles southeast of Union Pines High School. The $13.9 million, 90,000-square-foot facility has 400 students in grades six through eight
Superintendent Susan Pur-ser noted in her welcome at both ceremonies that this is "a historic day for all of us as we participate in a ribbon cutting for two brand new schools."
"The citizens of Moore County proudly step up to the plate today in 2010 to deliver this beautiful and wonderful state-of-the-art building for the students of our school system," said Dale Frye, chairman of the Board of Education, at both ceremonies. "May each student be enriched by the educational experiences encountered at this facility and challenged to the fullest extent of his or her ability and thus move forward in the system to become the great citizens of tomorrow."
Tim Lea, chairman of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, spoke at both ceremonies.
"It takes vision to understand our children's educational needs," he said. "It takes foresight to plan for those needs. It takes the support and cooperation of schools, government and community to make those plans possible, and it takes commitment and perseverance to make them become a reality.
"With the dedication of this school today, we are privileged to witness the culmination of all of these elements working together to produce this beautiful new school, which will provide a learning environment that will enable our students to learn, grow and develop so that they will be prepared to meet our community, county, state and country's future needs."
West Pine Elementary Principal Seth Powers emphasized that "environment plays a key role in the education of students. I want to say thank you to our Board of Education, the Board of Commissioners and the citizens of Moore County for providing us with this beautiful facility."
School board member Bruce Cunningham said, "Although this is a brand new school, what is happening at this school is the same thing that is happening at every one of our schools throughout the district this week and throughout the year - good teachers working very hard to make you good students so you can have a good future."
Attendees were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by second-grader Mac McFadden. Fourth-grader Larcie Britt read a poem itled "New Begin-nings" by Paul Roberts.
At the Crain's Creek ceremony, Principal Rose Cooper noted that she is a Moore County native, having grown up in that portion of the county where her school is located. She reminisced about working on a tobacco farm as a child and added that, ironically, Crain's Creek Middle School is on property that was formerly a tobacco farm.
"I realize that much of my success has roots in the values that I learned as a child with my family on that farm - the value of hard work, the importance of teamwork, respect for others, faith and appreciation for good neighbors," she said. "As we build a Falcon (the school's mascot) culture, we blend several communities together. We embrace the values of our roots as well as those of our new families and we will learn from each other.
"I challenge our students as we come together in Falcon territory that you follow those dreams and follow those values that make us great."
Eighth-grader Armani McCoy led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
"We have the best students, the best faculty and an incredible opportunity to make this more than a school," eighth grader Clay Thomas said. "Crain's Creek Middle School will be a place where we can learn, grow together and create memories that will last forever."
Board member Lorna Clack gave a history of the first schools in the Crain's Creek area, noting that an English surveyor named Stephen Crain came to this area in the 1700s. It was logical that one or more of the local creeks, used as a landmark for surveying, was named after him.
The first school to be constructed in the area was built in 1767 along Crain's Creek and was named Crain's Creek School. Although this first school was not the only one to bear the Crain's Creek name, she said, the present school is the most recent.
"Today we are at the very beautiful Crain's Creek Middle School named in honor of that very first school ever in Moore County," Clack said. "The school is loaded with all kinds of wonderful things - new books, new seats, new computers, Smart Boards, a super principal, well-trained teachers, and a host of people to care for you. Maybe years from now you'll remember this wonderful day."
Cunningham illustrated a portion of the program titled "Looking to the Future While Learning the Past" with a water pump. Although he posed the question of how to "prime" the pump to the students, it took a member of the Vass Women's Club, several of whom were in attendance, to answer it correctly.
The visual provided an appropriate introduction to a song titled "Water From Another Time," which was performed by eighth-graders Kinsey Gautier, Audrey Van Arsdale and Audrey Simpson.
Participating in the official ribbon-cutting at both schools were Purser, school board members Frye, Clack, Cunningham, Pam Thompson, Kathy Farren, Charles Lambert and Laura Lang; County Commissoners Lea, Larry Caddell, Jimmy Melton, Cindy Morgan and Nick Picerno; as well as the principals from each school.
In closing, Thompson, vice chairwoman of the school board, thanked her fellow board members, the Board of Commissioners, the staffs of the schools and the community for their attendance and for their support in making the new school a reality.
Tim Lussier is advisor for community relations for the Moore County school system.
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