Accreditation celebration

ED-8 trustee Walter Potts urges those attending the accreditation celebration at Halifax County High School on Tuesday to support the passage of the referendum in November that would levy a 1-cent sale tax for use in capital school construction projects. Looking on are Dr. Mark Lineburg, school superintendent; Lisa Long, director of elementary education; Valdivia Hall, assistant school superintendent; Mike Lewis, HCHS principal; and ED-5 trustee Freddie Edmunds.

Nine of nine was the goal, and this school year Halifax County public schools achieved that goal, but it took the efforts of everyone in the school division to realize the accomplishment.

That was the focus of a celebration recognizing total accreditation held Tuesday afternoon at Halifax County High School.

Clay’s Mill, Scottsburg, Sydnor Jennings, Meadville, Sinai, Cluster Springs and South Boston elementary schools received full accreditation, as did Halifax County Middle School and Halifax County High School, according to Dr. Mark Lineburg, school superintendent.

Last year, eight of nine schools were accredited, with Clay’s Mill Elementary accredited with conditions.

David Duffer, Clay’s Mill principal, was happy that his school received full accreditation, nevertheless he reminded his fellow teachers that teachers leave a legacy that transcends lesson plans, grades and test scores.

“The best thing we can do is build relationships with students and fellow teachers. Start tomorrow making a difference every day, hour and minute.”

Dawn Miller, newly appointed principal at Halifax County Middle School, said she used a “litmus test” when judging if students were getting the right amount of support in school.

“If it’s good enough for children in our house, if it’s good enough for those we hold near and dear to our hearts, then it’s good enough for others,” said Miller.

The theme of teamwork expanded to Michael Lewis, Halifax County High School principal, and members of the school board, including ED-8 trustee Walter Potts and ED-5 trustee Freddie Edmunds.

“It took everyone here to be nine of nine -- people working together with a common goal can achieve that goal,” said Lewis.

Potts continued the theme of teamwork, telling teachers, “You did it.” 

But Potts has another goal in mind, urging passage of the referendum in November that would levy a 1-cent sale tax for use in capital school construction projects.

“Vote that 1 cent in, and we’re gonna get us a new high school,” said Potts. “It’s not going to stop you from getting a raise. Go out and really talk this up. Maybe in two to three years, we can have a convocation in a new facility.”

Edmunds recalled only four of nine schools were accredited when he came on the school board.

“We knew we needed new leadership,” said Edmunds, saying that as a school board member he would support teachers by not interfering with them. “Let people do their jobs and get out of their way.”

Much has been accomplished, but work still needs to be done, according to Lineburg citing the recently released Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores.

Science scores were among the biggest improvements, according to Lineburg.

“How proud I am of each of you,” he concluded. “This validates all our hard work.”