Locals celebrate National School Board Appreciation Month

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Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

The old saying that, “it takes a village to raise a child” seems to be the heartbeat of the New Castle Public School System as they have a great vision for their students in Craig County. Said Edward Everett, “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.”


During February, the Craig County School Division will join 132 other school divisions throughout Virginia to celebrate School Board Appreciation Month.

The month-long observance is an opportunity for each school division and community to build a stronger understanding of the crucial role that school boards assume in a representative democracy. School boards voluntarily tackle the enormous job of governing multi-million-dollar public school divisions, while preserving the core of democratic values.

“There is a place in America to take a stand: it is public education. It is the underpinning of our cultural and political system. It is the great common ground. Public education, after all, is the engine that moves us as a society toward a common destiny,” said Tom Brokaw. “It is in public education that the American dream begins to take shape.”

Craig County Public School Board’s hardworking team consists of Pat Myers – Chairman, Susan Crenshaw – Vice Chair, George Foster, Gina Smith, Aaron McCafee and Superintendent Jeanette Warwick.

“Our school board, teachers and staff in Craig County give so much more of themselves than is ever recognized,” one lifelong citizen shared. “I hope that businesses and people alike help to do a little something for them during this time of appreciation and honor that is set aside.”

“The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Advancing Opportunities for All,’ reflects the top priority of local school board members as they advocate for public education with local, state, and federal leaders on behalf of all students,” another citizen said.

“The foundation of school leadership is ensuring equal learning opportunities for all students,” Jeanette Warwick said. “We are proud of our division. School Board Appreciation Month is the time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our elected trustees.” Warwick is the new School Superintendent of Craig County.

School board members come from all walks of life and, although they wear many different hats, they “put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school divisions.”

Members of the state board added, “Although individual school board members may sometimes disagree on issues, their role is to consistently strive toward the goal of high academic achievement. Working together, school board members speak out for public schools and the students we serve.”

“Board members contribute countless hours each year leading their divisions,” Warwick noted. “Whether it is crafting policies, hiring top-notch administrators, listening to staff and student concerns or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement.”

School board members statewide make decisions that affect 1.3 million Virginia children and more than $3 billion, according to the Craig County Superintendent.

In all counties, school board members must develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues which directly impacts their community.

Everyone is invited to recognize and celebrate the work of Craig’s School Board this month. “Invite them out for coffee, ask how you might help support your local neighborhood schools and write your school board members a thank you note,” state members said. “Let them know you appreciate what they do for students in Craig County.”

B.B. King once said, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” Anthony J. D’Angelo said, “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”