U.S. Secretary of Education Names Sandy Grove Middle 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School
Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education John King to announce that Sandy Grove Middle in Hoke County is among the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.
Sandy Grove Middle was nominated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Sandy Grove Middle was designed with LEED Platinum standards in mind and will save Hoke County approximately $37 million over the next 40 years. The 76,000-square foot facility combines energy conserving practices with onsite renewable energy generation to produce more energy annually than the school requires. The curriculum at Sandy Grove was developed to engage students in material science, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and geochemistry. The staff has embedded the school building’s sustainability features into the curriculum to provide hands-on activities and research-based projects for students to apply in real-world scenarios. The students learn about solar energy, energy and water conservation, air quality, geothermal, and recycling.
“We are honored to have Sandy Grove Middle School named as a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. Sandy Grove Middle is 1 of 47 schools across the nation to be named. It is the nation's first energy positive, LEED Platinum designed, leased public school. It is also one of the highest performing green schools in the nation, currently producing 33% more energy that it uses. The design of the facility using solar power will continue to reduce the negative environmental impact and utility costs associated with operating a school,” said Freddie Williamson, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools. “I am thankful to the Hoke County Board of Commissioners and Hoke County Board of Education for having a vision for the future and leading in the areas of innovation and design. Going first always has its risks, but quality planning will offset the risks, allowing you to move forward as indicated with the success of Sandy Grove Middle.”
In total, across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. King and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC.
The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 27 state education agencies. The list of 73 total selectees includes 41 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include three charter and eight magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.
Superintendents of North Carolina’s Public Schools, believe it is imperative that North Carolina develops and commits to a shared vision for public education. This vision includes outlining the knowledge and skills that students must know and be able to demonstrate upon graduation in order to be successful learners, employees, and citizens in the 21st century. It also includes the instructional delivery and learning support systems, human capital, and funding needed to provide our students with a world class education.
The North Carolina Guide to Strengthening Our Public Schools is a proactive education reform plan developed by NCSSA to:
The North Carolina Guide to Strengthening Our Public Schools contains six key goals and areas of strategic focus:
Key strategies have been identified to achieve each of the six major goals.
MONTHLY MEETING NOTICE
HOKE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Hoke County Board of Education will hold its monthly meeting at 9:00 AM on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Board of Education Board Room, 310 Wooley Street, Raeford, North Carolina 28376. PLEASE NOTE the date and time change for this meeting, due to attendance at the 2016 NSBA Conference.
Attention Parents of Current 4th-8th grade students. The application period for the STEM Summer Camp, an engaging summer camp focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will open on Monday, April 11th. This year, our summer camp will run from June 14-June 24th from 8:15-2:30. There is no fee for the program and breakfast, lunch, and bus transportation will be provided. If you are interested, you may download a copy of the application here from the website, contact your child's school, or the Hoke County Board. Our seats are limited and acceptance will be based on the order in which applications are received.
Applications can be returned by mail to the board 310 Wooley Street, Raeford, NC 28376; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax attention Dawn Ramseur, 910-875-3362, or turned in to your child's school.
The U.S. Department of Education created the Green Ribbon Schools Award program in 2011 to honor schools that:
· reduce environmental impact and costs;
· improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and
· provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.
The Green Ribbon Schools Award is the first comprehensive federal policy for schools related to environment, health and education. It describes a thoughtful vision for the nation’s schools, sets a high bar for success, and raises the profile of individual green schools and the states that support them. National award recipients will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in July. Additional information on the Green Ribbon Schools Award program is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
The Board of Education has waived the January 22nd snow day. Yesterday's snow day (February 15th) will be made up on Friday, February 26th. The 26th is scheduled for a half student day/half mandatory teacher workday. It will now become a full student day.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Hoke County Board of Education will hold its monthly meeting at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 in the Board of Education Board Room, 310 Wooley Street, Raeford, North Carolina 28376.
“PLEASE NOTE the time change for this meeting, due to attendance at the AASA 2016 National Conference on Education.
As we enter 2016, it’s important for us to look ahead at what a new year will bring us in terms of education. The Public School Forum of NC has released their Top 10 Education Issues for 2016 (see attached). Last year, there was a lot of uncertainty – specifically in terms of funding. This year, among the Top 10 issues are: increased resources for schools, teacher recruitment to NC, fixing the broken A-F grading system, supporting struggling schools, and expanding early childhood education.
Let’s begin with increased resources for schools. Currently, North Carolina is 43rd in the nation for per-pupil spending. Even the best teachers cannot perform optimally with little to no supplies. We must also keep in mind our need to attract and retain the best teachers. North Carolina needs to make a greater investment in public education in order for us to recruit (and keep) the best and brightest, as well as enable them to provide effective classroom instruction.
While on the topic of increased funding, let’s address teacher salaries. Last year, we saw a raise for beginning teachers. This year, we hope to see a larger, more significant raise for teachers across the board. North Carolina ranks 42nd nationally in teacher pay. Our teachers are responsible for shaping and molding the minds of our future leaders, doctors, professors – our entire nation. Shouldn’t they be compensated accordingly for the tremendous work they are doing? We must respect the teaching profession, beginning with a respectable salary.
Low performing schools – we’ve all read or heard about this. North Carolina went from having 118 low performing schools to 581, after a change in state law in 2015. State funding dedicated to turning around these low performing schools would only support about 79 schools. This year, we hope the General Assembly will look carefully at - if we’re going to define this large new pool of schools as low-performing - what we are going to do to help turn them around. Part of this conversation also goes back to the broken A-F grading system, which feeds our definition of what a low performing school is. This formula needs to be revisited and tweaked to be more representative of student growth.
Lastly, we are hopeful that early childhood education will see more attention this year. Legislators are becoming more and more convinced of what we as educators already know, which is that the early years matter a lot. If we’re going to reach reading proficiency by 3rd grade, we need to reach students early and often. Expanding Pre-K and doubling down in early childhood years is extremely important.
I encourage everyone to read through the entire list of the Top 10 Education Issues in NC for 2016 (see attached), keeping in mind why you are an educator. As an educator, you are giving each of your students the opportunity to transform their future and change the world. This is a tremendous task, and it’s one that you should be highly respected for taking on. Stay informed and be the voice for change in public education.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced the finalists for the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year. Hoke County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Freddie Williamson, has been named one of four finalists for the 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year. Other finalists include Dr. Thomas Tucker from Ohio, Dr. Pam Moran from Virginia, and Dr. Steven Webb from Washington. This marks the 29th anniversary of the program, which honors school system leaders throughout the country.
Dr. Williamson has more than 30 years of service in public education, with the past nine years as superintendent of Hoke County Schools. He is known for his transformational leadership style, no- excuses philosophy and innovative approach to addressing challenges. Williamson began his journey in public education as a classroom teacher. His experiences have included school administration for more than 25 years in various capacities, including vocational education, curriculum and human resources. In the summer of 2006, he was named superintendent of Hoke County Schools. Williamson has also served in several leadership roles for organizations such as the North Carolina School Superintendents Executive Board, North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Board of Directors, Sandhills Regional Education Superintendents Council, FirstHealth of the Carolinas Advisory Board and Fayetteville State University Educational Leadership Advisory Board. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
“The four finalists for the 2016 AASA National Superintendent of the Year have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to excellence in the work they do,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “As a former superintendent, I know that the demands of a superintendent are incredibly high, which is why we look forward to honoring these outstanding superintendents as well as all of the 2016 State Superintendents of the Year at our National Conference on Education in February.”
The finalists for AASA’s 2016 National Superintendent of the Year will have an opportunity to meet the national education community during a press conference in January 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The applicants were measured against the following criteria:
· Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.
· Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
· Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
· Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
Dr. Freddie Williamson, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools, earned the 2016 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year Award on Tuesday.
"This represents the work and service of the Hoke County Schools family," he said. "I am proud of the work we are doing to have our students college and career ready. I will continue to champion the cause of public education as the great equalizer for all students as I believe it to be."
As the recipient of this award, Dr. Williamson received $5,000, which he will award to Hoke County seniors in the spring of 2016 in the form of five $1,000 scholarships in memory of his grandparents and his parents, Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Rich Williamson Hull and Mr. Fulton Lee Williamson, Sr.
Dr. Williamson will compete at the national level for Superintendent of the Year at the American Association of School Administrators' National Conference on Education next February in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Dr. Williamson is known for, and continues to demonstrate, a remarkable passion for leadership and transformation in his district that makes him well deserving of this prestigious state award," said Jack Hoke, executive director of the North Carolina School Superintendents Association. Dr. Williamson received the recognition jointly from the N.C. School Superintendents Association, N.C. Association of School Administrators, and the N.C. School Boards Association.
In June, he was named the 2016 Sandhills Regional Superintendent of the Year alongside seven others from across the state. Dr. Williamson has earned other accolades including the 2011 Sandhills Regional Superintendent of the Year, Southeast Regional Principal of the Year, and the Wachovia Principal of the Year - twice. He has also led Hoke County to win awards such as the NC Innovator in Digital Learning award from Governor Perdue in 2012 and he has worked to increase the district's graduation rate by 27.7 percent.
Dr. Williamson began his career in education more than 30 years ago and has served as Hoke County's superintendent for the past nine years.