Dr. Tony Tipton - Welcome Back Message

Post date: Aug 14, 2015 3:13:21 PM

Good morning and welcome back, I hope everyone had a great summer.

On behalf of the Yancey County Board of Education, I welcome our 25 new employees. We are excited to have you as part of our family.

I also want to welcome back our returning employees. Thanks for all you have done for Yancey County Schools and for what you will do this school year. It is my honor to work with such a wonderful group of professionals.

We would like to thank all of you for allowing us a few minutes of your time this morning.

Each year we set a system wide theme designed to help us stay focused. This year’s theme is “Desire to Inspire” Working with our principals this was chosen for a couple of reasons. First, can you think of a better goal for any educator to have than to inspire their students? Second, we must all strive to encourage or inspire each other over the long school year. Third, we must inspire our parents and our communities.

In American, today more than ever, public education must compete in a free market. We must demonstrate to parents that our schools are their best choice. Parents have choices today that did not exist 20 or 30 years ago.

Today, education is a multimillion dollar industry, we have private schools, home schools, charter schools, religious schools, and even online virtual schools. All designed to recruit students and their tax dollars away from public education.

In this time of constant change coming from the federal, state and local levels, we all must help each other and inspire each other to do their best and to be the best.

From time to time we will get discouraged, we are only human. However, if everyone has a true desire to inspire, then together we will be able to support and encourage each other.

The summer has been a very busy time. All 9 schools have had some improvements, some were small and some larger.

A few of the larger items include:

A new roof at Bald Creek. For the past 4 years we have installed a new roof each year, Bald Creek marks the last school that should need a new roof for several years.

At Micaville a new phone system was installed, and at Bald Creek we installed a new intercom.

At the two middle school we installed new gym floors. The 56 year old floors needed replacing. We wanted to have the best looking middle school gym floors in western North Carolina and I believe we will achieve that.

Over the summer we were able to offer elementary students a free summer enrichment camp at two sites, one was at Burnsville and the other was at South Toe. These two camps served around 80 students for 4 weeks. We were able to offer academic support during the mornings while offering fieldtrips and other fun activities in the afternoon. I would like to thank Colby Martin and the Magic Grant for the funds needed to offer this program.

Over the summer we learned that MHHS again improved its graduation rate. Two years ago MHHS reached an all-time high of 92.1%. This year we topped that with another all-time high of 92.44%. This is a tremendous accomplishment, one in which every Yancey County Schools employee can take pride.

This year North Carolina required all children entering kindergarten to take what is called the KEA or kindergarten early assessment. This assessment is designed to determine each child’s readiness for school.

You may not be aware of the fact that the Yancey County School System is one of only a few in the state that do not offer pre-k in the schools. We have begun working with local pre–K agencies to see how Yancey County Schools can help prepare students to enter kindergarten with the necessary skills needed to meet the new state assessment test.

Some of you may ask why begin a new program when we have a budget shortage?

It is very simple, the better prepared students are when they enter kindergarten the more successful they will be throughout all grades.

If Yancey County Schools are to remain successful and a leading school system in western North Carolina we must grow to meet the new challenges set before us.

Everyone here at the central office understands that students come first. I pledge each of you our assistance as we move forward this year.

Together we are stronger and will accomplish much more than we can working as individuals.

Once again on behalf of the school board and all central office employees welcome to the 2015-2016 school year and we wish each of you a safe and successful school year.

At this time I will turn it over to our board chair Mr. Mike Orr.