Wilkes County Schools

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Public Notice
2022-23 Board Meeting Minutes » December 5, 2022

December 5, 2022

Summary of Board Meeting Minutes for December 5, 2022
The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit conducted a regular meeting in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom on Monday, December 5, 2022, at 5:30 PM at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mr. Hardin Kennedy III, and Board Members Mr. Kirk Walker, Mrs. Joan Caudill, and Mrs. Jammie Jolly. Also attending were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Academic Officer Mrs. Callie Grubb, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Chief Technology Officer Mrs. Julie Triplett, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Executive Director of Federal Programs/Career & Technical Education Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Secondary Education/Athletics/School Safety Mr. David Johnson, Director of Testing and Accountability/Cultural Arts/504/Title I Dr. Dion Stocks, EL Coordinator Mrs. Lori Holguin, and Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis. Also, in attendance were Mr. Rodney Graham, Principal of Central Wilkes Middle School, Mrs. Amy Samples, Principal of North Wilkesboro Elementary School, Mrs. Beckie Spears, Principal of Wilkesboro Elementary School, Mrs. Andrea Byers, Assistant Principal of Wilkesboro Elementary School, Mrs. Delaina Jones, Principal of C.C. Wright Elementary School, Mr. Dan Biesak Principal of Moravian Falls Elementary School, Mr. Craig Tidline, Principal of Boomer Ferguson Elementary School, AIG Coordinator Mrs. Angie Lamb, and Mahala Absher Administrative Assistant in Exceptional Children.
Vice-Chairman Mr. Hardin Kennedy called the meeting to order.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Vice-Chairman Mr. Kennedy welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vice-Chairman Mr. Kennedy recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the 2022 Mountaineer Top Readers. The Mountaineer Readers program is a partnership between the Reich College of Education and Appalachian State Athletics with the purpose of promoting and celebrating literacy in surrounding counties. Each year, participating students read books of their choosing during the summer months and record their reading on a log provided by App State Athletics/RCOE. Students then submit the log to their school's media center coordinator during the first week of school.
Wilkes County had three students recognized for being top students for the county, and two schools recognized for being top schools in the region. Congratulations to these students who were the top readers for Wilkes County:  Aaleigha Hodge from Mountain View Elementary was the top reader in the 1st-2nd grade category, Nicholas Johnston from Wilkesboro Elementary was the top reader in the 3rd-4th grade category, and Abby Gutierrez-Torres from Wilkesboro Elementary was the top reader in the 5th grade category. These students were recognized at the Appalachian State football game on November 13, 2022, and a video of them was projected on the jumbotron during the football game for all to see!
Congratulations to Wilkesboro Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary for being top school readers for the region! These schools will receive a customized school-specific video featuring App State coaches and student-athletes.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the 2022-2023 Science Fair Winners. Wilkes County Schools hosted the 2022-2023 Science Fair on November 15, 2022. Over 120 outstanding projects were entered from grades 3-8. Wilkes County Schools had 16 elementary and 13 middle school projects that will advance to the Regional Science Fair at Appalachian State University on January 10, 2023. Congratulations to these students who will advance to the Regional Science Fair. They are listed below:
  • Dalton Byers, Moravian Falls Elementary School
  • Kolten Parsons, Millers Creek Elementary School
  • Kalie Barner, Boomer Ferguson Elementary School
  • Joelynn Hale, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
  • Ryan Hurst, Traphill Elementary School
  • Ambellina Black, C.B. Eller Elementary School
  • Hank Reece, Moravian Falls Elementary School
  • Cooper, Kamryn, and Kalin Wilmoth, C.B. Eller Elementary School
  • Chayton Dillard, Millers Creek Elementary School
  • Bristol Call, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
  • Sophia Berrier, Traphill Elementary School
  • Beckett Willis, C.B. Eller Elementary School
  • Grant Curry, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
  • Grant Roberts, Millers Creek Elementary School
  • Blaine Arnder, C.B. Eller Elementary School
  • Rowan Dyer, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
  • Trystan Handy, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Carson Pierce, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Shalyn Bare, North Wilkes Middle School
  • Riker Byers, West Wilkes Middle School
  • Olivia Dancy, North Wilkes Middle School
  • Emily Wood, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Hunter Absher, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Logan Osborne, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Ryland Faw, West Wilkes Middle School
  • Jaxon Walker, North Wilkes Middle School
  • Adalyn McBurney, North Wilkes Middle School
  • Hannah Absher, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Eli Bare, North Wilkes Middle School
  • Ryker Cayton, West Wilkes Middle School
  • Jerred Coleman, West Wilkes Middle School
  • Jake Lambert, East Wilkes Middle School
  • Colten Vestal, East Wilkes Middle School

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the Foothills 2A and Northwest 1A Athletic Conference Recognitions. The Foothills 2A and Northwest 1A Fall All-Conference teams were recently announced following the fall sports season. We are proud to recognize one coach from Wilkes County Schools that was chosen as coach of the year. We would like to congratulate Colby Shell from Wilkes Central High School. Coach Shell was recognized as the Foothills 2A Men's and Women's Cross-Country Coach of the Year.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent to recognize the High School Marching Band Awards. Wilkes County Schools is proud to recognize the hard work of our Marching Band programs following another successful season of competitions. Tonight, we recognize each of our four traditional high school band programs and the extra effort that they have put into their marching band show and program. Each band competed in numerous events and we will highlight only a few of those accomplishments. We hope to see our band programs continue to grow musically and numerically as our outstanding directors do a great job with all of their talented students.
East Wilkes High School
Drum Major: Alyssa Baker
Director: Colin Whiteley
East Wilkes High School was recognized twice as the Best in Spirit and Esprit de Corp. This award recognizes the band that represents great sportsmanship, respect towards other bands, excitement for music, and passion for the marching arts. In addition to this recognition, East Wilkes Marching Cardinals were recognized at their marching competitions as follows:
  • 2nd Place Visual Ensemble and Music in Class AA
  • 3rd Place Drum Major and Overall in Class AA
  • 3rd Place Overall in Class AA
  • 2nd Place Drum Major (2x), Colorguard, General Effect, and Marching in Class AAA
North Wilkes High School
Drum Major: Rachel Dimmette
Director: Kira Gileza
The Vikings participated in the North Iredell High School Band Competition and hosted their own event this year. At the North Iredell Marching Competition, they were recognized as follows:
  • 2nd Place Drum Major and General Effect in Class 2A
  • 1st Place Color Guard and Marching in Class 2A
West Wilkes High School
Drum Major: Kira Brown
Director: Matt Dauer
The Marching Blackhawks attended 3 days of competition this fall and had a very successful season. The West Wilkes Blackhawks earned 24 awards this season with 16 First Place or Champion Band Awards earning the highest placement awards in the band's history. The Blackhawks earned awards in Classes A1 through 3A for the following areas:
  • Highest Music Score Classes 1A - 3A
  • Highest Marching Score Classes 1A - 3A
  • Champion Band Overall Classes 1A-3A
Wilkes Central High School
Drum Major: Tori Wright
Director: Christian Bruce
Wilkes Central participated in 5 different competitions during the fall competition season. Tori Wright, Drum Major, won first place in 4 out of 5 competitions. The band also earned 21 placement awards ranging from 1st place to 3rd place in all of their competitions. The band earned the following recognitions during their marching season:
  • 1st Place Music and Percussion in Class 1A
  • 2nd Place Percussion, Marching, General Effect, and Overall in Class 1A 

Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Superintendent's Welcome. Mr. Byrd stated, "January's board meeting will mark seven years that I have been sharing a welcome or devotion to open our meetings, and I don't think I have ever been as proud or relieved as I am to speak to you tonight after the events that took place at Wilkes Central High School on Thursday. We, as a county and a school system, have so much to be proud of for how our system and our local emergency services handled the threat that we received last week. I could not be more pleased with how the students and staff of Wilkes Central High School handled this matter, nor could I be prouder of the response from local law enforcement. We have several staff members in the room whose actions were described to me as "running to danger," and I need to publicly thank Dr. Westley Wood, Mr. David Johnson, Mr. Bergie Speaks, Mrs. Morgan Mathis, and numerous others for their efforts."
"I took a call Thursday night from a member of the Sheriff's department that I respect tremendously who just wanted to tell me how proud they were of the response of our school and school system. An elementary teacher stopped me at the East Wilkes/Wilkes Central game on Friday night and thanked me for the way our system handled this challenge. We didn’t get it perfect, and we met today with law enforcement to find out what we could do to improve if we are ever faced with the situation again, but we have so much to be thankful for. I think educators across this county feel safer after what they learned about the response of law enforcement and local emergency services."
"I hope and pray that none of us are ever faced with this situation, but we learned that we are better prepared than many and you can rest assured that we will be better prepared in the future. I hope you are as proud as I am of how all of Wilkes County dealt with this scary challenge."
"This challenge did remind me of how important it is to make sure that we are focused on the right things. Our world is full of distractions and unimportant things trying to draw our attention. We spend so much time and effort arguing over things that are not what really matters. As we move toward 2023, I encourage each of us to make it a priority to focus on what is important and to eliminate many of the distractions that take our attention away from where it should be. We owe it to our students, our staff, and our community to make sure that we stay focused on what is important, and if we don't realize that now, I don't know what it will take to open our eyes.  All of us should strive every day to improve in this area."
"I am glad that we are able to be sitting here this evening thinking about the upcoming holiday season rather than discussing a tragedy. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to us working together to make 2023 even better for the students and staff of Wilkes County Schools!"

Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Dr. Dion Stocks, Director of Accountability, Cultural Arts, 504s, and MTSS. Dr. Stocks highlighted Wilkes County School's Cultural Arts program including Fall Art Night and the Band Expo. He also provided an overview of the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and the work Wilkes County Schools is doing to ensure student success. Topics included:  universal screeners, core programming, Early Warning Systems, and other MTSS areas of focus. MTSS is a framework used to provide targeted support to all students in the area of academics and behavioral needs. MTSS screens and supports all students in the area of Academics and Social Emotional Behavior. Our district is currently working to utilize the MTSS ECATS platform that is provided by the state of North Carolina.

Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for Public Comments. Mr. Francisco Hernandez, Mrs. Laura Love, and Mrs. Sharilyn Owens shared their concerns regarding a book called Looking for Alaska.

On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the minutes for November 7, 2022, were approved as presented.

On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar was approved as presented.

On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Out-of-Town/Overnight Field Trips were approved as presented. Planned dates are listed below.
School Group Destination Dates
East Wilkes High School EWHS JV and Varsity Basketball Teams
Max Meadows, VA
North Wilkes High School Chorus (1 student)
Mars Hill, NC
Wilkes Central High School
Wilkes Central Wrestling Team
Galax, VA
North Wilkes Middle and High Schools 6th-12th Grade Band Students
Charlotte, NC
Fort Mill, SC
Traphill Elementary School 3rd Grade Students
Traphill, NC (overnight)
Wilkes Central High School 9th Grade Students
Johnson City, TN
Wilkes Early College High School 12th and 13th Grade Students
Orlando, FL

On a motion by Mrs. Jolly, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Low-Performing School Improvement Plans were approved as presented. Schools identified as low-performing (receive a school performance grade of D or F and school growth score of "met expected growth" or "not met expected growth") must develop an improvement plan that specifically addresses how the school will improve both the school performance grade and the school growth score. Schools must also notify parents of the low-performing status. Boomer Ferguson Elementary, C.C. Wright Elementary, and Central Wilkes Middle Schools are identified as low-performing schools. Their school improvement plans are housed in an online tool called NCStar, were presented at the November meeting, and were submitted for final approval.

On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the ESSER HVAC Owner/Architect Contracts were approved as submitted. ESSER funds have provided a great opportunity for our district to upgrade the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in our older buildings and schools. Contracts for Pinnacle Architecture for design and engineering work on our ESSER HVAC upgrade projects for the following schools are: Wilkes Central High School, Wilkesboro Elementary School, Ronda Clingman Elementary School, C.C. Wright Elementary School, and C.B. Eller Elementary School. Pinnacle has done numerous projects for us since 2000. These projects are very time-consuming and take a lot of additional effort to make sure we get everything right the first time. These five schools will be advertised, bid out, and will have construction dates set.

On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Recommendation for Purchase of Classroom Interactive Displays was approved as presented. Wilkes County Schools released a competitive bid request for Sharp Interactive Displays in November. We received sealed bids from the following four vendors:
Sharp Business Systems – $2,926.45
Y&S Technologies – $3,007.77
Bluum of Minnesota, LLC – $3,162.62
Camcor, LLC – $3,177.90

Discussion and Report Item was presented by Mrs. Callie Grubb, Chief Academic Officer. Mrs. Grubb announced the Wilkes County Schools Summer Success Plan for 2022-2023. The Department of Public Instruction has approved that all districts may administer the End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) tests during summer school. The scores from the tests will be included in the proficiency calculations for school accountability within the current accountability year which ends July 6, 2023. Wilkes County Schools has elected to provide a summer school program, called "WCS Success Academy," immediately following the last day of school. It will extend the school year for qualifying students by up to 4 days. This plan was submitted for review and will be submitted for final approval at the next board meeting scheduled for January 9, 2023.

Discussion and Report Item was presented by Mr. Bergie Speaks, Maintenance Director, who gave a brief update on construction being held at four of our schools. ESSER projects are underway at Mountain View, Mulberry, Millers Creek, and Mt. Pleasant. The upgrades include new heat pumps (package or split systems) for all older classrooms that have not had upgrades in the last 15 years. It also includes new exhaust fans in restrooms and fresh air units where applicable.
Both Mountain View and Mulberry have classrooms ready for units to be installed. Electrical wiring has been done and new openings cut out and ready for these units. Unfortunately, we are still waiting on the outdoor units. We hope to have them by Christmas. Indoor units just arrived and the contractor is working on scheduling the installation of them.
Mt. Pleasant is moving along. Given the scope of work, it has been a challenge for our food service department, Pre-K, and basically all the staff at Mt. Pleasant. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who works or volunteers at the school. What some thought to be impossible, you have made possible. We have such great people working in our school district. Staff and students have a long way to travel in order to get to the busses and cafeteria not to mention the construction work and traffic. Each time I am there when students are going to lunch, they are always smiling and waving. To date, footings are poured, all concrete slabs are complete, the metal wall studs are in place in the new building, block firewalls are complete, and roof trusses are being set. If everything goes well, they will start installing the metal decking with insulation and the metal roofing closely following. We currently have four other projects we are working on which we received state funding for. Pinnacle Architecture is working on plans or waiting on surveys for each.
  1. Wilkes Central High School - Survey completed and site plans are being drawn for a new gymnasium.
  2. North High School - New home and away bleachers at the football field. Survey was started on 11/16/2022.
  3. East High School - New home bleachers; currently waiting on survey.
  4. West High School - Re-do both the track and tennis courts. Track to be resurfaced and tennis courts will have the existing asphalt completely removed, any bad soil removed with a new base, new surfacing, sleeves, poles, and netting.
Lastly, we are working with Central Wilkes Middle School to get a final quote on a new outdoor classroom, removing an old playground and grading for a new one at C.B. Eller, grading at Ronda Clingman to construct a new outdoor classroom, and working with Mulberry to create an outdoor learning area.

Chairman Mr. Holbrook made the following announcements:               
  • December 16, 2022 – Early Dismissal (Elementary 12:30 PM; Middle/High 1:00 PM)
  • December 19-21, 2022 – Optional Workdays
  • December 22, 2022 – Annual Leave
  • December 23, 26-27, 2022 – Christmas Holidays
  • December 28-30, 2022 – Annual Leave
  • January 2, 2023 – New Year's Holiday
  • January 3, 2023 – Required Workday
All board members wished everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next board meeting to be January 9, 2023. The meeting will be held in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom, located at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina beginning at 5:30 PM.

On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker, the Wilkes County Board of Education voted unanimously to meet in closed session at 6:40 PM pursuant to consider the qualification, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee, or prospective public officer or employee, pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6).

No further business was presented, upon motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Caudill, the Board of Education voted unanimously to end this closed session and return to open session at 7:27 PM.

In open session, there being no further business presented, a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker, the Board of Education voted unanimously to adjourn at 7:28 PM.
PDF/Printer-Friendly Version: