Spence Announces Grants, Honors Educators
New grant funding and recognitions for outstanding employees were two of the subjects highlighted by Moore County Schools Superintendent Aaron Spence in his monthly report to the school board.
“We have much to celebrate,” Spence told the audience at last week’s regular meeting of the school board before announcing the latest news in school grant funding.
“If you will permit me, I would like to share a bit about the recent work that our outstanding staff has been doing to secure additional revenue for the school district.”
Spence said several grant initiatives have been received.
“Through the Army Youth Program in Your Neighbor-hood (AYPYN) program and our work with Fort Bragg to support our military families, Moore County Schools received $290,000 in funding for after-school academic and enrichment programs,” he said. “This year we have five schools who are utilizing the funds: Crain’s Creek Middle, New Century Middle, Southern Middle, Union Pines High and Pinecrest High. This is renewable funding that will, if this first phase goes well, be available in subsequent years to all middle and high schools in Moore County who have military connected students.”
Spence also detailed a grant designed to improve school technology.
“We also recently received a $255,000 grant from the federal government for rural school learning, and we are currently working with IT to define a technology initiative for grades K-8 in northern Moore County,” he said. “The schools to be supported through this funding include Robbins, Elise, Westmoore and Highfalls.”
Additional grants have been submitted, Spence said, that “could have significant impact on our mission and in our community.”
For example, Jenny Jenning, a specialist for major projects, has submitted an application for a National Environmental Education Foundation Grant for $14,000.
If funded, this grant would support the further development of the pine stand at Pinecrest High School, and will include partnerships with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
“Jenny has also led a district-wide effort to write and submit a ‘Race To the Top’ district grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Eduction for $8.9 million,” Spence said. “This is a highly competitive grant, and we anticipate that only 15-25 awards will be given nationally.
“Should we be awarded this grant, our proposal includes technology and professional development for 10 schools, as well as a mobile preschool. We will be notified of these awards by late December.”
Spence then recognized the county school board in connection with National School Board Recognition Month and with American Education Week, held Nov. 12–16.
“Let me begin by bragging a bit on our board,” he said. “At last week’s North Carolina School Board Association annual meeting, I felt as though I was in the presence of rock stars. During the conference awards ceremony, our board was recognized individually and collectively for their commitment to their work and to the children of Moore County.”
The following board members were recognized for their participation in the Academy for School Boardsmanship: Enola Lineberger and Bruce Cunningham, Certificate of Merit; Laura Lang, Certificate of Advanced Achievement; Kathy Farren and Charles Lambert, Award of Excellence; Dale Frye, Award of Distinction; Diploma of Honor, Lorna Clack; and Scholar’s Circle, Ed Dennison.
The board was collectively recognized with the Special Achievement Award for Exemplary Boards, and it also received the NCSBA Award for Excellence in Elementary Educational Programs for 2012 for its support of the FirstSchool Garden Program.
The award is given to a school district in recognition of an exemplary education program that maximizes student achievement. Origi-nally begun in a partnership with Communities in Schools and FirstHealth of the Carolinas, the FirstSchool Garden Program is now under the direction of Good Food Sandhills through Sandhills Community College. The 13 school gardens have a focus on community food systems and green initiatives and serve as outdoor classrooms at each school.
Spence also congratulated board chairwoman Kathy Farren.
“Our chairwoman … was formally elected to the NCSBA Board of Directors,” Spence said. “Her selection is a compliment to her leadership and an honor for Moore County Schools.”
Spence also thanked several educators for their service to the school system.
“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank an outstanding educator for her 15 years of service to Moore County Schools as an assistant principal and principal, most recently at Pinckney Academy. While at Pinckney, she helped to build a culture where children feel safe and cared for and where they understand that with hard work you can have a second chance.
“In addition to her work as an administrator, Ms. Robin Liles is also a grandmother to Christiana, a student at New Century Middle School, and Chloe, a student at Sandhills Farm Life. She is a passionate advocate for all children, and I hope the Board of Education and all those present will join me in congratulating Robin Liles on her retirement, which will become effective Dec. 1.
“Also, congratulations and a shout out to Mike Apple, a teacher at Pinecrest High School who was named a 2012 North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Outstanding Secondary Mathematics Teacher,” Spence said.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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