Bertie County Schools Convocation

Published 11:29 am Monday, August 21, 2017

WINDSOR – Bertie County Schools launched a new school year early Wednesday with the district’s annual Convocation held at Bertie High School Auditorium.

The event program featured a colorful motif of student artwork framed around a quote from former South African president Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

Teachers, administrators, and staffers were welcomed by BCS school board chairman Bobby Occena. Other speakers for the occasion included Sixth Judicial District Attorney Valerie Asbell, Bertie County Sheriff John Holley, and Bertie County Commissioners vice-chair Ernestine Byrd Bazemore.

BCS superintendent Dr. Steven Hill was one of the featured speakers. The superintendent’s message was centered on several key topics: the school district’s budget; the steady upswing in proficiency, vertically aligned pathways, and the chain of command. Other items he touched upon included the new District Improvement Team and ultimately the culture of education.

Following Hill was the primary address delivered by the guest speaker of the morning, Dr. David Braswell, a retired Arizona state senator, award-winning educator, and CEO of UpSlope Solutions, a nationally recognized provider of research-supported products and services for schools seeking to boost their student achievement..

“As public servants, more is expected of us,” Braswell told the school personnel.

Braswell has been working with leaders in the district to develop the Employee Code of Excellence—a list of about a dozen or so expected behaviors for employees to adhere to and commit to.

“Why do we need a code: in order to be fair, reasonable, thoughtful and consistent,” Braswell emphasized.

“Of course, the first level of a code violation is self-remedial growth opportunities; however, there are levels of disciplinary actions for code violations as we work toward a higher accountability,” the guest speaker stated.

“With a recent press release, the board has declared publicly that we are committed to a code of excellence, and that we will hold ourselves to a higher standard as educators,” concluded Hill.