I think anybody that has spent much time around me knows I enjoy bragging on the people and the good things happening with the Mitchell County Schools. It is one of my favorite things to do. Promoting the schools has always been easy for me as I am very aware of the great things taking place on a daily basis in this outstanding school system. It is my most enjoyable role as superintendent. So this school year has been a lot of fun for me, as, no doubt, we have so much to be proud of and feel good about concerning our system and Mitchell County.
Congratulations to Coach Travise Pitman, his staff and Mountaineer football team for their great season. I am so proud and impressed with this terrific group of young men who have represented our county in the best of ways on and off the field. This pride was evident in our counties people and alumni with over 5,000 Mountaineer fans who attended the state championship game in Winston-Salem. BB & T Stadium was definitely all purple. What a great display of support shown not only to this championship football team but to all the students who attend our school system. As we turn our attention to winter sports our Mountaineer Wrestling team will be working toward a third straight state championship. All basketball teams are off to great starts on the high and middle school level and are expecting big years. At the high school our K-12 show choir just finished The Christmas Story which was another outstanding performance to full houses for all shows. This was a great way to kick start the holiday season to all who attended. Our Mitchell HS Marching Band is set to perform in Washington D.C. during the holidays and recently performed in the Asheville Christmas Parade. Our students and staff in all of our schools system wide are doing what they can to help those less fortunate during the holiday season working with local law enforcement (Shop with a Cop), Shepherd Staff, Salvation Army, Key Tree and local churches. Giving back to others has been the theme throughout our school system. We have recently implemented STEM Discovery Labs in our middle and high schools as a result of a $350,000 Golden LEAF grant for this initiative. These labs will provide our students the opportunity to explore and connect with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and has created much excitement with students and teachers. Due to a financial commitment from our Board of Commissioners we have funding in place to expand our 1:1 Laptop Initiative. We have seen this 1:1 Initiative make a tremendous difference in the graduation rate which is the highest in the history of MHS. As a result now every student 6th through 13th grade has access to a laptop computer 24 x 7. These are just a few recent highlights of the wonderful things taking place in our schools. I have always said that Mitchell County is a great place to work and live, wonderful people to work with and much to celebrate beginning with the young people we serve whom have been for me our number one priority and thought in any decision made. I thank each and every one of you for the positive difference you are making in the lives of our children. That positive difference by the members of this great county was on full display Saturday in Winston-Salem 5,000 plus strong cheering on our team. Reminding me, how great it is to be a Mountaineer!