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American Legion, one-act team honored at school board meeting

posted Jan 23, 2017, 7:16 AM by Kathy Hughes   [ updated Jan 23, 2017, 7:17 AM ]
NCT 0119 SB 2NCT 0119 SB 1Courtesy of Nelson County Times

During its monthly meeting last Thursday, the Nelson County School Board handed out several certificates as a way to honor community members who contribute to education and recognize the dedication of students who represented the division well at the state level.

The board recognized Nelson County’s American Legion post members for their contributions in enriching the lives of Nelson County High School students.

The post pays for more than a dozen students to attend Boys State and Girls State, programs in which students learn about local and state government. The post, which has about 60 members, pays $450 for each student to attend the program.

“It’s wonderful that we have this small American Legion post in Nelson County that really does all these great things for our students, and it’s very commendable,” Superintendent Jeff Comer said. “I know they get a lot of satisfaction out of it, but without question, our students get much more.”

Members of NCHS’ one-act team also were recognized for their second-place finish for their performance of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” in the Virginia High School League’s state competition.

Diana Driver, NCHS drama teacher and co-director of the play, said the students on the team are “the very best actors” in the school. From the beginning of the semester until last Month, when they performed at states, the process of perfecting the play was an “every-day affair,” she said.

“I think that these students and Peter should be given absolutely all of the accolades that you’re giving today,” Driver said. “We’re grateful for your support and grateful for the community [support so] that the arts can thrive.”

Peter Coy, co-director, said the play had never been performed in the style the students did this year.

“We were doing something absolutely groundbreaking,” Coy said.

He said he is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team every year — he has helped direct the one-act play for nine years —and attributed the team’s success to the “energy” Driver has infused into the fine arts program and the students to constantly tackle new challenges.

Also during the meeting, Susan Cargill, Tye River Elementary School’s reading coach, gave an update on reading instruction and methods to improve literacy and reading scores at the school. She said in addition to helping teachers learn how to effectively help students improve reading skills, the school is working to add a parent resource area and purposeful literacy stations in the library.

Ahead of this week’s budget work session, when the board will take a closer look at the operating budget for the upcoming year, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Shannon Irvin gave a quick overview of changes in anticipated expenditures. She said as proposed and in its preliminary state, the budge is “pretty bare-bones.”

“There’s not a whole lot of room to make changes from what we’re currently doing,” she said.