Happy People: Superintendent, Others Thanked For Passage Of School Bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dr. Darrin Hartness didn’t waste any time to get the ball rolling towards a replacement for Davie High School.

On Wednesday, the day after Davie voters approved borrowing $54.5 million to build a new high school on Farmington Road, Hartness was on the phone, talking to architects, attorneys and contractors.
His work toward getting the bond passed didn’t go unnoticed. He was also fielding calls and emails congratulating him for his role in getting the bond passed. And when introduced, he got a standing ovation from the standing-room only crowd in the board’s meeting room at Central Davie.
The Davie County Moms group was recognized. Families were thanked. County residents were thanked.
“We are moving forward. We’re going to have a new high school open in the fall of 2017,” Hartness said.
“This has been a wonderful week. The decisions made by the people of Davie County are monumental.” The decisions, he said, should put to rest local teachers concern about the support of public education.
“I am confident we can pull together as a community. We are neighbors – friends. We are Davie County.”
Hartness said he appreciates the passion on both sides of the bond issue. It means those people care about their community.
“I especially want to thank our teachers and staff. You are awesome. We’re headed in the right direction. This is a good day for Davie County.”
Board Chair Chad Fuller thanked Hartness, which brought more applause from the audience. “This community and this board are very thankful for you to be here,” Fuller said. “We are a better place because of you and your family.”
During the public speaking portion of the meeting, Anna Wall Wilson thanked the moms, of which she is a member, and all families for sacrificing to help get the bond passed. It’s how democracy works, and is a step toward making Davie County a place others want to be like, she said.
Brad Hoots, father of board member Wendy Horne, praised his daughter and the moms, and the board for hiring Hartness. “That’s one of the wisest decisions Davie County has ever made. We’re proud to have you as our superintendent. Jeff Wallace (associate superintendent), you are the same kind of person.”
Hoots thanked long-time residents for supporting the bond, people like Wee Brock and John and Rose Caudle of Farmington and Julius Suiter for “doing what they thought was right for Davie County.”
And there are the moms – the grassroots effort that started small and mushroomed into a local political force. With the mood in the state legislature not favoring public education, Hoots said it may be time for the group to become “NC Moms.”
Steve Ridenhour, board member and critic of the new high school proposal, said: “The people have spoken. It’s time to move forward. It’s time to heal. God bless Davie County.”
Board member Carol Livengood called it “an exciting and emotional week.” “We need to begin to heal and we need to come together.” She cited the forming of this country, when men disagreed but treated each other with respect. “They knew the importance of civility and friendship. Respect the rights and dignity of our fellow citizens. I pray that we can be an example to others and our children as we move forward.”
Board member Barbara Owens remembered Angie Slabach and Vestal Potts, two deceased Advance residents who were proponents of a new Davie High School. “Your dreams have come true.”
“Together, we are going to make a difference in the future of education in Davie County,” Owens said.
“It’s time to move on,” said Horne. “We know what the people want us to do. When open – we’re all going to be thrilled.”
“I look forward to mending and healing and refocusing the school system,” said board member, Paul Drechsler. “Let’s move on and get things done.”
“We’ve had a big week here in Davie County,” Fuller said. “This plan got new support all across Davie County. I’m proud to be a citizen of this community.”
Horne summed it up for a lot of people: “Let’s start talking about something other than a high school.”