West Moore Fights For Teacher Assistants

West Moore

A Board of Education meeting was held at Carthage Elementary School on Monday, April 11th.

Sylvia Hipp

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance – led by 11th grade Student Sylvia Hipp of Pinecrest High School.  The pledge was followed by an inspirational speech by 11th grade Student Connor Jenkins of Pinecrest High School.

Board Member Stacey Caldwell presented the Growing to Greatness Awards for the month of April.  Awards were presented to Certified Staff Member Cathy DiTuro of West Pine Middle School, Support Staff Member Theonia Person of Robbins Elementary School, Volunteer Mary Beth Griswald of Southern Pines Primary School, and Student Xavier Cain of the Community Learning Center at Pickney.

“Give Five – Read Five” was the program highlight of the evening.  This program was implemented several years ago to help lessen summer reading loss.  Harvard University studies have shown that if a child reads a minimum of five books consistently

Connor Jenkins

over the summer, he/she will be less likely to have a difficult time reading once school starts again in the fall.

Individuals have worked with the community to gather thousands of books over the past few years for “Give Five – Read Five.”  Aberdeen Primary was able to provide twenty-five to thirty-five books per student.  The books are provided to the students free of charge to ensure that they have reading material for the summer months.

Superintendent Bob Grimesey gave a report on the teacher assistants and their importance in Moore County.

“There is no greater resource for a classroom teacher . . .,” he said.  “They provide additional structural support.”

Ten speakers were signed up for public address to the Board.

West Moore Teachers

“I really want to thank the community for the engagement,” said Board Member Helena Wallin-Miller.

Two groups in particular spoke to the board in regard teacher assistants and classroom sizes.  High Falls teachers came in blue T-shirts, and West Moore teachers came in red T-shirts in representation of their schools.  Both schools are K-8th schools.

“We know families on a personal level,” said a teacher from West Moore.

She emphasized that teacher assistants are just as important as classroom teachers.  They also help transition new kindergarteners into a “welcoming environment.”

“They all directly impact our children,” she said.

Individuals from High Falls Elementary spoke in favor of small class sizes.

High Falls

“Please keep fighting for us . . .,” one teacher said.

Several other individuals spoke in regard to the coaches at the high schools in Moore County.

“We need the good role models,” said speaker Gale Simmons – Deputy Clerk at the courthouse in Carthage.

“I want to thank everyone who’s come here with concerns,” Board Member Bruce Cunningham said.  “We hear every one of them.”

Another Board Member stated that it broke her heart that the children of Moore County were also worried about current issues.  Her own child even offered to sell lemonade over Spring Break to save money.

“We’re going to do the best that we can,” Cunningham said.