Schools name best of the best#8217; BY R.E. SPEARS III/STAFF WRITER/ 06/14/2007 COURTLANDFollowing a dinner Monday in which the county#8217;s top teachers were the center o

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

COURTLAND—Following a dinner Monday in which the county’s top teachers were the center of attention, Southampton school board members took time at the beginning of their meeting to name the one chosen as the school system’s “best of the best.”

Nottoway Elementary teacher Danielle Hewitt tearfully received the honor from Chairman Russell Schools and Superintendent Charles Turner, who also presented her with a certificate, a golden apple and a gift of appreciation.

Teachers of the year were chosen from each of Southampton’s six schools, and the winner was picked from that group. School Board members recognized the teachers and the family members they had brought with them during Monday’s meeting.

“I feel that I am (the) kind word of encouragement, the ear that listens and (students’) smiling face,” Hewitt wrote in her application portfolio, a portion of which was shared with the audience at the meeting.

“I know that if I can gain their respect and their trust, they will try anything for me,” she wrote of her students. “If they know I truly care, they will not be afraid to struggle through a tough topic. They know I will be there every step of the way, encouraging them.”

Teachers of the year from other county schools included Alaina Parker of Capron Elementary, Dawn Wise of Hunterdale Elementary, Tora Sweat of Meherrin Elementary, Jennifer Warren of Southampton Middle School and Mary Mills of Southampton High School.

The School Board also honored Dr. Roger N. Morris, director of administrative services, for his service to the county during the past four years. Morris will be leaving at the end of the month to assume the position of superintendent of the Patrick County school system.

Noting that the local school system had advanced several employees as new school superintendents in the past, Chairman Schools said, “Southampton is getting to be known as a good training ground” for public school chiefs.

Among those whose time in Southampton led directly to work as school superintendents are Jack Thomas, who left to lead Appomattox public schools; David Holleran, who went on to Matthews County; and Turner, who was promoted to superintendent in Southampton.

In other business Monday, the School Board agreed to increase the prices for some school meals for the coming school year.

The higher prices are necessary because of rising food and supply costs, according to Linda T. Drake, supervisor of school food service.

Elementary breakfast prices will rise 5 cents, to 85 cents, and elementary and secondary