08/18/10 — Duplin school board praises teachers for latest ABC results

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Duplin school board praises teachers for latest ABC results

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on August 18, 2010 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- The Duplin County Board of Education discussed Tuesday the county's ABCs of Education test results.

For the first time in six years, the county school system is no longer in improvement status, officials learned last week.

None of the county's 15 schools were rated as low-performing, and the one school that did not receive a rating, Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary, missed making the grade by only .003 percent, according to Assistant Superintendent Cary Powers.

"This is outstanding, it shows our teachers are working hard," he said.

Two of the county's schools, East Duplin High School and Duplin Early College High School, were recognized as schools of distinction.

"We're looking at great things to come," Powers said.

The board members praised the teachers, staff and students, crediting them for the improvements on the test results.

"The chief factor in the success we are celebrating tonight is the classroom teacher," Willie Gillespie said.

But to keep those teachers in the school system requires competitive salaries, he said, adding that too often, new teachers begin their careers and receive training in Duplin County, then take jobs in other systems.

"To get the best we have to pay a little more, that's a fact of life," he said.

Thanks should also go to the county's school leaders, Hubert Bowden said. A good principal can give teachers "the push they need" to go above and beyond in the classroom, he said.

Chairman Reginald Kenan singled out Charlie Blanchard, praising his work improving James Kenan High School. The principal expected students to do well, and they rose to the challenge, he said.

"All children have a right to believe that they can be educated," Kenan said.

Board member Emily Manning thanked the county's employees for their pursuit of excellence.

"Kudos, kudos, kudos to all of our staff members," she said.

The state District 2 school system will host the state Board of Education's meeting in September. Officials are discussing potential locations for the meeting, which may be held at James Sprunt Community College or James Kenan Elementary Sept. 8.

Duplin County Schools open to students Aug. 25. At this time, the system only has one educator vacancy, for an exceptional children's teacher, officials said.