Rector Board Honors Turner, Celebrates Increased Enrollment
The Rector School Board, along with superintendent Johnny Fowler, high school principal Wade Williams and elementary principal Nate Henderson, honored the service and commitment of longtime Board member James Turner during Monday's regular meeting. Turner, who has served on the Board for 23 years, has been battling illness and did not seek re-election.
"On behalf of the entire Rector School District and the community, we want to thank James Turner for all his work as a member of the school board and for the support he has given to our school," Fowler said.
Fowler presented an emotional Turner with a plaque recognizing his service to the school district.
"I cared about helping the students any way I could," Turner said. "We have a really good school here, and it's all due to the hard work of everyone involved. I've enjoyed being a member of the school board, and I know everyone involved will continue to try to do what's best for our students, our school and our communities."
Enrollment at Rector has increased to 602 students in grades K-12, which is 37 students more than were enrolled at the end of the 2013-2014 year. The increase is a fairly even breakdown with 22 additional high school students and 15 more in elementary.
"I think the increase is definitely due to the quality of our school," Fowler said. "Our faculty and staff do outstanding jobs meeting the needs of our students. The surrounding community is a great place to raise children, and I think people realize that."
Fowler noted Rector has the atmosphere of a small school where students are able to interact on a one-to-one level, while also offering benefits found in much larger schools such as Concurrent Classes, which allow high school students to receive college credits in Biology and World Civilizations.
Principal Williams offered the Board good news, announcing 85 percent of this year's seniors scored proficient or advanced in 11th Grade Literacy testing this past year. Williams noted only nine high schools in the state fared better than Rector, many by just a few points.
"I'm very proud of the kids," Williams said, noting the students' hard work as well as that of high school English teacher Melinda Hobbs, whom he credited for much of the success. "Those scores increased from 72 percent the year before. I told this year's juniors 'the bar has been set high,' and it has."
In other business, the Board:
* Accepted the August financial report.
* Accepted the minutes from the August regular meeting.