Filling the void

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

WINTON – Sometimes a simple thank you is touching.

Such was the case Monday night when the five members of the Hertford County Board of Education each said they were touched by the outpouring of appreciation from staff in the school district.

“I take pride on behalf of this board in accepting these cards,” Board Chairman John D. Horton said. “Since I can’t divide them into fifths, I’m going to take personal privilege and add them to my memoirs as chairman.”

Three cards were sent to the board from teachers who were grateful for a step the board took in rewarding them for reaching state standards.

According to Hertford County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Michael G. Basham, the state of North Carolina did not fund enough money to pay teachers who actually met state standards.

“The state only funded so much of the bonus,” he said. “This board made up the difference so the teachers would be paid the state’s promised bonus.”

Dr. Basham said the state only funded about $1,052 of the $1,500 promised in some cases and $500 of the $750 promised in others. The Hertford County Board of Education voted to make up the difference at an approximate total cost of $100,000.

Both Chairman Horton and Vice Chairman Ronald G. Baker said they thought it was important for the teachers to receive the bonus they were promised.

“The state didn’t tell the teachers what they were doing until after the fact,” Baker said. “The teachers met the results the state wanted and then the state decided they couldn’t afford to pay what they promised.

“All of us on the board thought that was unfair and wanted to make it up,” he added.

Horton said, “I’m glad we were able to do it because it kept up the excitement that had been generated by them meeting the state standards. We couldn’t afford not to do it.”

The cards received were signed by the staff of Riverview Elementary School and Bearfield Primary School and thanked the entire board for their support.

Board members Dennis M. Deloatch, J. Wendell Hall and David L. Shields expressed their appreciation for the thank you cards along with Horton and Baker.