Ribbon cut opening new Davie County High School

Published 11:23 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

The ribbon was cut last week to celebrate the opening of the new Davie County High School, marking the biggest, but not the only, event before the doors open to students Aug. 28.

Tours of the high school began in the afternoon Aug. 17, and folks were still there hours later, taking in all the school has to offer the expected 1,750 students that will occupy over 300,000 square feet. The $62 million facility features spacious classrooms and workrooms, a media center with a coffee shop just outside the doors, two gymnasiums, and the first auditorium in the school’s history.

Approximately 1,700 people attended the ceremony, including members of the board of commissioners, county manager John Eller, the state board of education vice chair A.L. “Buddy” Collins, and members of the local board of education, including two former members, Carol Livengood and Steve Ridenhour.

Former superintendents, architects Clark Pierce and Wesley Curtis, project manager Jim Moorefield, and the president of New Atlantic Construction, Ricky Adkins, were also in attendance, as were Rep. Julia Howard and Congressman Ted Budd.

Clint Junker, BOE vice chair, opened the event by asking, “Are you kidding me?” After welcoming the crowd, he shared two quotes, one from his father: “All this didn’t happen accidentally,” and one from attorney George Martin who recently toured the school, and turned to Junker to say, “Son, it ain’t nothing but right.”

Pastor Shane Nixon delivered an invocation, and BOE chair Chad Fuller said: “This is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Davie County High School.” He gave a shout-out to the One New Davie High campaign, and thanked Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness for his leadership, saying he “poured his heart and soul” into the new school.

Hartness quoted Nelson Henderson: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit,” in thanking everyone for their commitment to the project, even those whose children will never go to the school.

“We have seen what happens when a community comes together. Today marks the end of a long journey and a new beginning,” he said.

Behind the scenes, even during the ceremony, teachers and staff worked to prepare classrooms, labs, the technology system and other areas before orientation that began today Aug. 23 and will conclude Thursday.

Open houses at the county elementary schools, for seventh and eighth grades and Central Davie Academy are Thursday. Seventh and eighth grade open houses are 4:30-6:30 p.m., Central Davie is 2-4 p.m. and the elementary schools’ open houses are from 5-7 p.m.

Supply lists and school calendars, which include first and last day information, as well as holidays, professional days, and early release days can be found on the schools’ website at http://davie.k12.nc.us/district/calendar/.

School hours are: elementary, 8:10 a.m.-2:50 p.m.; middle 7:45 a.m. -3 p.m.; Central Davie middle 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Central Davie high 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and out-of-school suspension 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Davie High 8:15 a.m.-3:25 p.m. and Davie Early College 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

With the opening of schools and students and bus drivers getting adjusted to routes, motorists are encouraged to be patient. Todd Naylor, transportation director, said: “Motorists should be on the lookout for buses and students waiting for buses. They need to remember the stop arm laws, and new laws were approved this year that will allow us to impose civil fines for those who pass stopped school buses. We have buses equipped with stop arm cameras that record video both inside and outside the bus to help in the prosecution of drivers who pass stopped buses.”

Naylor said there is safety information and other information at ncbussafety.org that will help drivers understand what to do when approaching a bus with the red lights and stop arm activated. New speed limits have been implemented in the Mocksville district, and other schools have posted speed limit zones as well.

A turn lane has been created in front of the new high school and bell times have been adjusted for it and the adjacent middle school that should help with traffic flow on Farmington Road, but Naylor added: “Please be patient as traffic patterns develop in this area.”

Those who have questions about their child’s bus can find information on the schools’ website or by contacting the school bus coordinator at their child’s school. Parents may also register their child to ride the bus on the schools’ website, and Naylor said by accessing https://web01.edulogweb.com/Davie/webquery/ parents can type in their address to see which school their child would attend, the closest bus stop, bus number and approximate stop time and they may also register them there.

One of the features of the new high school is seating for 650 students in the cafeteria, with outdoor courtyard seating for 200, which means the rush to get to the cafeteria, get food, eat and get back to class in less than 30 minutes will be a thing of the past.

This year, high school students will pay $1.35 for breakfast, and at the high school and middle schools, $2.90 for lunch.

Breakfast for pre-K through fifth grade is free and is $1.10 for middle school students. Lunch is $2.40 for pre-K and $2.65 for kindergarten through fifth grade.

School administrators are: Central Davie: Beth Edwards, principal; Cooleemee: Cindy Stone, principal, and Sam Brown, assistant principal; Cornatzer: Catherine Moreland, principal, and Kimberly Stacey, assistant principal; Early College: Denise Absher, principal; Davie High: Doyle Nicholson, principal; Kathy Courtemanche, Tabatha Hudson, Michael Pruitt and Alvin Rubin, assistant principals; Mocksville: Jennifer Swofford, principal, and Elisabeth Bolick-Spillman, assistant principal; North Davie: Mary Foster, principal, and Cindy Myers, assistant principal; Pinebrook: Brooke Preslar, principal, and LaShaunda Plain-Mamon, assistant principal; Shady Grove: Mary Margaret Sullivan, principal, and Raymonda Shelton, assistant principal; South Davie: Melissa Lynch, principal, and Andy Obermann, assistant principal; William R. Davie: Karen Stephens, principal, and Brittany Head, assistant principal; and William Ellis: Leigh Walters, principal, and Alanna Kotas, assistant principal.

Hartness calls Davie a “family friendly school district with a vision to be the national model in creating educational experience.”

He said teachers and staff work continuously to help children experience academic growth while identifying each child’s own talents and leadership skills. Commitments by the Mebane Charitable and the Golden LEAF Foundations provide funding to ensure early literacy and support students in the STEM and Career and Technical Education paths.

To keep up with the latest news, Hartness said parents and others should consider signing up for the electronic School Matters, and those with questions or suggestions should call the district’s office, 336-751-5921.

“We want to provide the absolute best experience for our students and parents, and we make that our priority. We have seen new faces as educators retire and are excited to welcome new teachers, administrators, and staff to our school family. Our teachers are some of the best in America, and I continue to receive comments and emails from parents thanking our teachers who go above and beyond the call for their children. We hope everyone has a fantastic school year.”