LAURINBURG — After closing the Washington Park and Pate-Gardner elementary schools last summer, the Scotland County Board of Education moved forward Monday with getting the two properties off of its books.
After meeting in closed session, the board voted to authorize attorney Nick Sojka to offer the closed Washington Park and Pate-Gardner properties to the Scotland County Board of Commissioners at market value.
According to auxiliary services superintendent Larry Johnson, the appraised value of the Pate-Gardner property in Gibson is $45,000 and Washington Park was valued at $90,000. The board is legally obligated to offer surplus school property to the county before moving forward with disposing of it through other channels.
If the county turns down either or both of the properties, the resolution authorizes the school system to sell the properties through a sealed bid process.
“The objective under the sealed bid statute is to free the school system from any responsibility and any ongoing maintenance or liability issues,” Sojka said.
The board also heard from its curriculum superintendent Valarie Williams, who presented the state’s scale for converting letter grades students earn in community college, home school, or private school courses. Public school transcripts will reflect a 95 for an A, A+, or A-, an 85 for any B grade, a 75 for any C grade, a 65 for any D grade, and a 55 for any F.
“As we look at it, we do see the unfairness of it,” said Superintendent Ron Hargrave. “This will probably change with time… I’m sure they’ll get an earful from parents and we’ll probably see this change in the next year.”
In other business, the board recognized Sycamore Lane Elementary teacher Maggie Liles for her recent certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. A handful of other teachers also completed re-certification: Betsy Sheppard at Wagram Elementary, Ruth Ann Harris at Spring Hill Middle, Michelle Buhler at Laurel Hill Elementary, Laura Fedak at Laurel Hill Elementary, Monica Whitehead at Scotland High, and Martha Tremblay at Scotland High.
“We say all the time it takes 200 hours to do the first process and about 100 to do the second,” said Laura Britt, who coordinates the school system’s support program for National Board applicants. “It’s time inside the classroom thinking and reflecting and it’s also time outside the classroom thinking and reflecting about what was accomplished that day. I am so proud of these ladies; they did a wonderful job.”
The board also applauded North Laurinburg Teacher of the Year Catherine Pinkston, who came to teaching 12 years ago after working in the juvenile justice system.
“I’m so grateful to the parents and grandparents of students I have taught or currently teach for their trust in me as well as their support, encouragement, and understanding,” she said. “But most importantly, I am grateful to my students, who humble me and fill me each day with encouragement, inspiration, and show me that we should never underestimate the potential of any child that we are privileged enough to teach.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.