Athletic alliance to be formed

Published 12:06 pm Saturday, April 19, 2014

COURTLAND—Details of the new Southampton Public Schools Athletic Alliance for grades K-12 were announced earlier this week at the county school board meeting.

“Our mission is to create more opportunities for students to move,” said Dr. Alvera Parrish, superintendent. “We’re promoting the development of the whole child — mind and body — with meaningful and physical activity.”

This is not meant to be a booster club or committee, she added.

“We’re a new group to develop students athletically, physically for a lifetime. We’ve been planning this year for next year.”

To kick it off, the Red-and-White football game will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, at Southampton Middle School, said Principal Darian Bell. Cheerleaders, a band and half-time show will be included.

Among the people involved in the alliance are Littleton Parker and Larry Rose, longstanding figures in local school athletics.

“I’m just here to assist anyway I can,” said Parker. “I think I have something to offer.”

“This is a great opportunity for us, too,” said Rose. “We’re helping to get officials to oversee the game.”

Allene Atkinson, principal of Southampton High School, applauded their participation.

“Dr. Parrish had a vision: To take health education further. Larry Rose and Littleton Parker bring quite the expertise to this group. The persons standing before you are committed to excellence.

“More importantly, our kids are committed to excellence. We are ready to move forward.”

Atkinson said that academics are directly tied to athletics and vice-versa.

Related to sports, Parrish said that the Obici Healthcare Foundation awarded the school system a $50,000 grant. This will be used to refurbish the track at the middle and high schools.

In other school matters:

* Athletics Director Tim Mason announced the Elementary Olympics for all fifth-graders will take place on Friday, May 30.

* Ellis Cofield Jr. spoke before the board and commended the members for their work. “I want to give you guys recognition…We want to let you know your work is not in vain.”

* Roberta Naranjo, vice chairwoman of the school board, said she feels “things are going very well” as far as next year’s budget is concerned. Parrish added, “Of course it’s a process. We’re optimistic. We’re very pleased to see that all the items in the school board’s request are in the Southampton County Board of Supervisors’ budget, including new positions, five buses and raises.”

She added that work sessions are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23 and 30 at the county administrator’s office.

“We ask you to continue supporting the school board and attend various PTA meetings. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday, May 19, in the high school auditorium.”

* Dr. Allison Francis, principal of Capron Elementary, made a presentation about the school’s “The Leader in Me” program, which promotes “The Seven Habits of Happy Kids.”

Three students recited those goals. These, said Francis, are intended to teach accountability, gain self-confidence, improve school culture, increase teacher engagements and parental involvement.