October is bullying prevention month, IW school board votes

Published 12:56 pm Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Isle of Wight County School Board voted unanimously to accept Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proclamation of October as bullying prevention month at their monthly board meeting, held Thursday at the Isle of Wight County Courthouse Complex.

Additional highlights from the board meeting included Jim Abicht’s announcement that Smithfield Music will donate a total of $12,500 to all nine schools in Isle of Wight County to further their music programs, the recognition of this month’s Isle of Wight Achievers and Boys and Girls State participants, a presentation on a new Early Literacy Reading Program and recognition of Jan. 2 as a federal holiday and close all schools for that day.

This month’s Isle of Wight “Achievers,” students who excel beyond the level recognized by individual schools, to include regional state and national levels in academic or athletic pursuits, were recognized at the board meeting, along with students who participated in Boys State and Girls State.

Boys State and Girls State are programs sponsored by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary to teach high school students how government works and to develop leadership skills. Participants run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws and actively participate in creating a working government alongside students from all across Virginia during this summer program.

Lois West and the Windsor High School Art Club were also recognized for winning the Isle of Wight County Fair hay bale decorating contest.

Windsor High School senior Lauren McKeel and Smithfield High School’s Camille Brayshaw were recognized as October’s seniors of the month. McKeel was recognized for her work as a mentor for incoming freshmen prior to open house, and for her participation in Beta Club and Windsor’s volleyball team. Brayshaw was recognized for her work in the design/production and management department at the Governor’s School for the Arts Theater in addition to her rigorous coursework at Smithfield High. Brayshaw is also an active Beta Club member and mentor to freshmen.

During the discussion Isle of Wight County Schools’ new Early Literacy Reading Program, the board was shown a brief presentation and video explaining how elementary students across the county would have the opportunity to virtually visit every other elementary school in the county through the superhero-themed program.

During Lynn Briggs’ gifted advisory presentation, it was reported that Isle of Wight’s gifted advisory committee has increased its membership and total number of meetings, despite the fact that maintaining the committee is no longer required by state law, and that 19 parents have volunteered to serve on the committee. The committee will also include two high school students, one from Windsor High and another from Smithfield High.

The next Isle of Wight School Board meeting will be on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m., in the Robert C. Claud Sr. Board Room located on the second floor of the Isle of Wight County Courthouse Complex on Route 258.