Hive’s work defended

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

WINDSOR – Officials and supporters from The Hive in Bertie County have gone on the offensive.

On March 1, there were presentations at meetings of both the Bertie County Commissioners and Bertie County Board of Education in support of The Hive, an alternative setting for students in the public school district.

In both instances, those defending the work of The Hive said rumors were circulating throughout the county about the close of the facility as well as incorrect information being disseminated about the type of work done there.

“If you ever want to know something about the program, come and ask me,” Hive Executive Director Vivian Saunders said to the commissioners. “I will give you the correct information.”

She then showed a video entitled “Vivian and The Hive” which talks about Saunders’ work with the young men who have been assigned to the school and about the work that is done there.

It is in part a testimonial by several young men who say they did not function well in a normal school environment, but who are thriving in the setting provided by The Hive.

Brett Noble, a teacher at the school, said he was proud of the work being done at The Hive.

“I came here and didn’t know what to expect,” Noble said. “I’ve been blown away by the boys and the way they have embraced their second chance.”

Noble said The Hive provided a competitive learning environment and that students came to work every day.

James Bell, who serves in a leadership role with The Hive, invited the commissioners and the community to come see firsthand what is happening at the facility.

“We have good kids,” he said. “Feel free to come in and see what we are doing.”

Bertie County Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr., said he had seen the work of The Hive first hand in his role as an interim Assistant Principal at Bertie High School.

“Two of the young men (at The Hive) have been reassigned to Bertie High School and have been excellent to work with,” Cherry said. “Keep up the good work.”

Commissioner J. Wallace Perry said he had checked into the program.

“I’ve seen it firsthand and I know the kind of job you do,” Perry said.

Later on Monday, a parent of a student at The Hive made public comments before the Bertie County Board of Education supporting the program.

Esther Harrell said she was there because she had been hearing rumors about The Hive.

“To me, The Hive is great,” Harrell said. “My son is a special child who had flunked two grades back-to-back, but now that he’s at The Hive, he’s doing well.”

Harrell said her son was shy and didn’t fit in well in the normal school environment where he was making D’s and F’s. Since he moved to The Hive, however, his grades have improved to A’s and B’s and he was fitting in.

“The Hive is not a bad place,” Harrell closed. “I’m a parent and I know.”