By CALVIN PYNN
Tuesday night’s School Board meeting started off with the recognition of a couple individuals who have exceeded expectations to make a difference with Pulaski County Public Schools.
The first to be recognized was Caitlin Igoe, a special education para-professional at Dublin Middle School, who was presented the January Employee of the Month award by Superintendent Tom Brewster. In her nomination statement, Igoe was praised for her strong engagement, interaction, and personal interest in the students she works with.
Toni Bowman, who teaches Health and Medical Sciences at Pulaski County High School, was selected as Teacher of the Month for January. She was recognized for her efforts to teach her students practical skills in the nursing profession, as well as working hard to ensure the success of any student that enters her program.
Following the presentation of the Employee and Teacher of the Month awards, Brewster presented the board members with certificates in honor of School Board Member Appreciation Month. As the theme for this month is “Local Schools, Local Decisions,” the board was praised for ensuring that the future of public education is controlled locally by the community it serves.
School Board Clerk Heather Freeman was also honored along with the other board members.
For this month’s instructional focus, the School Board heard a presentation from Debbie Compton, a computer technology teacher and virtual mentor for Pulaski Middle School. Compton presented the board with a program called Virtual Virginia, which she has been using over this past school year to help students get an extra challenge they would probably not have otherwise.
Two of Compton’s students accompanied her for the presentation to show what they have been learning through Virtual Virginia. Both are taking foreign language courses through the program, which, according to them, have allowed them to work on a doable, yet reasonably challenging scale.
The board recognized the potential benefits this program could provide in the long run for younger students taking those foreign language courses. It was pointed out in the presentation that they cover the prerequisites for foreign language courses, and board member Linda Hill also pointed out that such courses could be a strong advantage for any student wishing to pursue an MBA in the future.
“It seems to be a smart move for them early on,” said Hill.
Other items discussed during the meeting included the possibility of working with a new IEP Vendor, and Camp Cougar, an alternative physical education program offered to students during the summer. The summer camp will be discussed as an action item at next month’s meeting, when the board has a better idea of the budget they’ll be working with at the time.