Middlesboro schools strive for excellence

Published 9:45 am Friday, November 24, 2017

The Middlesboro Board of Education held their monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, during which they discussed their superb audit report, on-schedule construction plans and even the possibility of a shared social worker among themselves and the Pineville Independent School District.

“Since I’ve been working with this district, we’ve never found anything alarming in the audit, which speaks greatly of our staff, and also provides the community with relief in knowing that their tax dollars are in good hands,” said board member Bill Johnson regarding this year’s financial audit report.

The report revealed zero issues overall, and the district received the highest praise possible by the state, proving that the school system consists of excellent financial managers and exceptional communication among staff members.

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However, this isn’t the only success the district has experienced recently, as their construction plans are falling right on schedule and seem to be living up to the faculty’s high expectations.

Middlesboro High School track coach Luke Gilly was so impressed with the modifications being done on the track that he took it upon himself to thank the school board personally for all of the hard work they have put into it.

“I just want to personally thank each of you for the amazing work that is being done on the track. The kids are also very excited about it, and not a day goes by without one of them anxiously asking when it will be ready for them to practice on,” said Gilly.

While a completion date for overall construction has not yet been revealed, the track itself should be finished around the beginning of spring for what is projected to be the largest track team in Middlesboro High School history.

Adding even more to the accomplishments made by the district as of late, Bobby Dixon from GEAR UP made an appearance to praise the school system for their excellent use of the program.

“The budget for the district has actually increased by $10,000, and although we would love to take credit, this was made possible by the excellent work you guys have done,” Dixon explained to the board.

GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a six-year grant program which allows schools to have access to newer technology and resources that may not have been possible for them before, providing students with the best education possible. The increase in the budget displays a great use of this grant by the district.

A new accountability system was also introduced to the board by Dr. Anthony Maxwell. The system will focus much more on the individual growth of each student, rather than encouraging competition among pupils, and will also strive to make sure each student receives an equal opportunity to succeed.

At the end of each school year, the district will be rated one to five stars depending on their achievements with the new system.

Perhaps the most surprising subject of the meeting was the possibility of a shared social worker among both the Middlesboro Independent School District and the Pineville Independent School District.

The greatly needed position would be largely funded by the Elgin Foundation, with the two districts splitting the remaining cost. While details regarding the exploration of this idea have yet to be revealed, both school boards seem to be very welcoming of the idea, with plans to pursue it well underway.

“I believe this would be of great benefit to students in both school districts, and I look forward to pursuing this further,” said Superintendent Waylon Allen.