‘Bertie Strong’

Published 11:38 am Monday, February 6, 2017

WINDSOR – They want their slogan to mean “tough and resilient”, as much as moving forward in one proud body.

You’ve heard of “Boston Strong”; then get ready for Bertie County Schools’ “Bertie Strong”.

“We’re going to be recognizing the schools and the individuals for the work they did last year in the area of student achievement,” said Assistant Superintendent Sandra Hardy. “They’ll be showcasing the things they do for students, and the things they are proud of and things we’re doing to try and move Bertie County Schools forward.”

The campaign will be launched Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Bertie High School Gym located at Bertie High School on US-13 North of Windsor. The theme will be: “Bertie Strong, Recognizing Achievement.”

“We want the public to come out and find out more about all of the exciting things happening in Bertie County Schools,” said BCS Assistant Public Information Director Amanda Bunch.

Bunch says there will be a short program to give the administrators a chance to say a few words and then a celebration of the achievements of some of the individuals within the District.

“The event will focus on recognizing and celebrating the strengths of Bertie County Schools,” Bunch continued. “The dedication, skills and accomplishments of students, faculty and staff will be showcased at individual school booths that will be set up in the gym.”

“Each school will have a booth, or something to showcase the progress of their students,” added Hardy.

Bunch said highlights will include the District’s improved School Performance Rating, which overall has risen from a D to a C in a year’s time; the increased number of Bertie County Schools teachers exceeding state standards of student growth; and recognition of the teachers ranked in the top 25 percent of performance in 3rd grade reading, and more.

“This really stems from our Board of Education feeling that we really need to celebrate this – we really need to let the community know what our schools are doing,” adds Hardy. “I was happy to hear that the Board wanted this to happen.”

All North Carolina public schools, including charter schools, have received A through F letter grades since 2013-14, when the General Assembly passed legislation requiring it. Schools are also judged on whether their students exceeded, met or did not meet academic growth expectations during the year.

“Bertie Strong is the first of many events planned that will publicize the positive aspects of the district and strengthen the connection between the schools and the community as a whole,” Bunch added.  “Another goal of the campaign is to generate a more informed and inclusive dialogue among stakeholders as to how to best improve the quality of our local schools.”

Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill and the BCS Board of Education (Chairman Bobby Occena, Vice-chair Barry McGlone, and members Tarsha Dudley, Jo Davis Johnson, and Emma Johnson) are excited about having ongoing efforts to publicly recognize the achievements and accomplishments of the district.

“Dr. Hill has come in and hit the ground running,” joked Hardy. “I think I’ve already worn out a pair of sneakers trying to keep up with all the things he wants to do.  He has a true vision for Bertie County that I think is going to lead us in the right direction; so I’m really happy to have him with us and hoping we can attain at least half of the things that he is looking forward to for us.”

“This is an opportunity to reach out to the community and bring in families to show that our schools are being successful; they are doing great things, and they are working hard for our children,” said Hardy.

The event is open to all, and light refreshments will be served. More information about “Bertie Strong,” can be found on the Bertie County Schools’ Facebook page, and on Twitter: @BCoSchools.