Highland School Superintendent Report

Hello, my name’s Dr. Thomas Schott. I’m the Superintendent here in Highland County, and this is my monthly report on how the school system is doing, and what’s coming up in the current month.

The boy’s and girl’s basketball season is upon us, and we will be having a lot of home games this year, and I’m hoping that I can encourage everyone to come out and see the Rams – support the Lady and the Boys Rams. The school schedule on the basketball games can be found on the school website – at the very bottom of the homepage, there is a link to the calendar, which shows you all of the games. So I encourage everyone to come out – it’s a great time, and the boys and girls love to see you here supporting them.

One of the things also, that I want to thank some people for, is that we started a program at the beginning of the year, it’s called the Healthy Snack Program. It’s a P-K -5 program. One of the Ruritan clubs approached me on how they can help, and how the community can help the school system. And one of the things that we came up with with our P-K-5 program is to give them a healthy snack at the end of every day. One of the things that the kids are doing, because they do have a longer ride home on the bus, when they’re getting home, they’re very hungry. Like I said, I want to thank some very specific clubs – we have the Stonewall Ruritan Club, Bolar Ruritan Club, Blue Grass, Milł Gap, we have the Monterey Lions Club, and the Blue Grass United Methodist Church. They all banded together to support this program – this is something that we started at the beginning of the year, and we will be able to run it with their support through the end of the year.

I also want to thank the library. They came up with a new program, it’s called the Little Free Library. We have one of the library boxes here at the school it’s outside the school – the Lions Club actually donated the box here at the school, and many of the Ruritan Clubs have the Little Free Library at their facilities. So if you’re out and about, and you’re walking around school or at one of the Ruritan Clubs, look for these boxes – these are places where you can just open, take the book out – this is for you to take home and read. When you’re done with the book, if you like, put it back, or if you have a book at home that you’ve read, if you think someone else might like, put that in the little box. This is strictly just to support literacy in the community, which is a really great thing, so I do want to thank the library for helping us with this, because they are the ones who supply the books for these boxes.

I’d also like to thank my admin. I know that we always talk about the school and teachers, and it seems like my admin, I always forget to thank them, and I do want to thank both Tim Good, who’s at the high school and Teresa Blum, who’s at the elementary school. They are doing an amazing this year, encouraging the teachers to go,out and try different educational things, because what we’re trying to do here is whatever we need to do to reach the kids. And every student is just a little bit different in a way – whether it takes extra special talking to,,or a,little bit more time reading, or support in math – that’s what my admins are doing. They’re supporting the teachers and the students, and it’s making a tremendous effort here at the school.

One thing you guys all know – it’s three weeks until Christmas. With that, and with the holiday break always comes the old dreaded four letter word, snow. Just like last year, snow days are something that we’re going to have. We live in the mountains, so we know we’re getting snow. My job is to try to make sure that we are here as much as we can. I’m the one that makes the decision – I contact with local law enforcement, VDOT, all the people around the area that I can get to to see how the roads are with the weather – is it good in Blue Grass, or is it good up on Doe Hill, or in Hightown? Our community is very unique in certain situations, some places have snow, some don’t. But it is my job to gather all the information, and make the decision on whether we’re going to have school. The snow’s coming, so we’ll do the best we can.

And then I’d like to encourage all parents. One thing we do here at the school, is we’re trying to get all the kids reading. So I would like to encourage all the parents and guardians out there to just help their kids read, or encourage their kids even to pick up a magazine, or a newspaper – anything in print, so they can read and try to comprehend what’s going on, because reading is where it’s at. If they can read, and they can understand what they’re reading, this what’s going to help them through life, and make things easier for them.

I do want to thank everyone. I’ve been here a year and a half now, it’s a great community, and I’m really enjoying my time here at the school. So thank you very much.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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