Teacher apartments dedicated

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 29, 2007

AHOSKIE – It was a day of celebration and thanks.

The principal figures who worked together to make Hertford Pointe a reality, gathered Friday morning and even the rain couldn’t dampen their spirits.

“On a joyous occasion such as this, the rain is just tears of happiness,” Hertford County Public Schools’ Executive Director Betty Pugh said.

Pugh was one of a group of speakers to make remarks as part of the ribbon cutting ceremony officially dedicating the new apartment complex which houses teachers who work in the Hertford County Public Schools.

Two of the speakers were residents of the complex.

Destra Denney came to Hertford County from Michigan and credited the apartment complex as one of the reasons she was able to make such a move.

“Hertford Pointe is a blessing in my life,” she said. “To move so far from home can be quite scary.”

Denney said the apartments allowed teachers to be able to make new friends, have safe and affordable housing and receive support from the other teachers who lived there.

Roger Pittman, also new to the district and a resident, agreed the complex was important.

“Hertford Pointe was built for teachers to live in, but it’s more than that: it’s innovation,” he said. “I thank everyone involved for their support of teachers and for their innovation.”

Dennis M. Deloatch, who was superintendent of Hertford County Public Schools when the project began and who now serves on the school board, said he was proud to see the dedication day arrive.

“We were looking at a teacher turnover rate of 30 percent so we invited businesses in to help us look at that and how we could change it,” he said. “Out of that meeting came this idea.

“Did it work? Yes, it has,” he said. “I’ve been here all my life and I can’t remember any time in the last 10 years when we’ve started school with basically 100 percent teaching staff. We did it this year.”

Deloatch said the reason Hertford Pointe was successful was because it was never about one person or one group.

“What you see is a team effort,” he said. “It is not about one individual or one group, but about everyone working together for what is best for Hertford County.”

James Eure, who serves as president of the Hertford County School Foundation and is manager of the State Employees Credit Union in Ahoskie, recognized those who made it possible through contributions.

They included Berry-Kerr, the State Employees Credit Union Foundation and Nucor.

Both Eure and Deloatch were also recognized for their contributions to the project as were Pugh and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael G. Basham.

State legislators also were on the program and gave brief remarks of congratulations on the project. They included state Senator Ed Jones and Representative Annie W. Mobley.