This past week, members of the district office instructional staff and I started meeting with principals for mid-year reviews. During these meetings, we examine achievement data and discuss instructional plans for the remainder of the year. I am really pleased and impressed with the organized way in which our schools are using data to improve and more importantly, individualize instruction. I am also very excited with the way technology is being used to enhance student learning. These meetings have been time very well spent for me.
I’ve been meaning to say something for the past couple of days about the article in The State this past week about the way Doby’s Mill Elementary music teacher Helen Krofchick uses Wii technology in her music classes. This is just another example of how technology can bring resources to the classroom that would not have otherwise been possible. Great stuff!!
Yesterday, an anonymous donor enabled the Camden Rotary Club to honor our Chief Financial Officer Donnie Wilson and several other local citizens as Paul Harris Fellows, the highest award possible for Rotarians. This is tremendously well-deserved honor. Donnie is one of the most highly regarded CFOs in this state, with good reason. As a lifelong member of this community, his approach to his work is always infused with his love for this place where he has lived his whole life. Very few people know of the many quiet contributions Donnie makes to our community, which is the way he would want it. I was extremely pleased that someone felt the need to recognize Donnie in this way. He’s truly one of a kind.
It was a real high point in my week to learn that our Executive Director of Elementary Education, Tim Hopkins, will be recognized with a leadership award by the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators. This is a tremendous and very well-deserved honor for Tim. I know how much work he invests in making sure that our federal Title I dollars are invested as efficiently and effectively as possible and how diligent he is in making sure that these funds have the greatest direct impact possible on the classroom. Outstanding news!
Prior to last night’s Board meeting, the district’s Teacher Forum hosted its annual “School Board Appreciation Dinner.” It was a really nice event! Great meal and excellent entertainment by the Pine Tree Hill Tinikling Team (tinikling is a form of rhythmic dance done with with sticks – very cool!). I greatly appreciate the Teacher Forum making this wonderful effort to recognize our School Board. I’ve always said that serving on a school board is the most difficult and least appreciated public service role there is. I want to personally thank Teacher Forum for this gesture of appreciation to some very dedicated folks.
The formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facilities at Camden High School was a wonderful community celebration. The performance by the Kershaw County Show Choir really served to accent the wonderful new auditorium facility. I was most struck, however, by the remarks by Senator Vincent Sheheen, a CHS graduate, who talked about the many CHS graduates who have come back to the community to make a difference. There was certainly a great deal of true “Bulldog” spirit present at this event. A real high point in the storied history of this school.