LOW MOOR — The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division is joining 132 other school divisions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in celebrating School Board Appreciation Month in February.
Almost 850 elected and appointed school board members throughout Virginia are being recognized by schools and communities for their service and dedication to public education. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Building the Future of Public Education,” reflects the partnership of the Virginia School Boards Association with local school board members as they serve their local divisions and advocate for public education with local, state, and federal leaders on behalf of all students.
“We deeply appreciate the work of our school board members as they truly help set the vision for our school division in the service of our full community,” said Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of AHPS. “Our school board members have truly guided AHPS to come together as one cohesive school division serving our students.”
The seven members of Alleghany Highlands School Board were appointed by the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors and Covington City Council. Members of the board are Jacob Wright, Jonathan Arritt, Marie Fitzpatrick, Gerald Franson, Danielle Morgan, Tammy Scruggs-Duncan, and John Littleton.
The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division formed when Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center merged on July 1, 2022. The school division is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. Wright, Franson, Littleton, and Morgan represent Alleghany County on the joint school board. Covington is represented by Arritt, Fitzpatrick, and Scruggs-Duncan.
School Board Appreciation Month recognizes and celebrates the dedication and accomplishments of individuals who serve on school boards. They are charged with developing policies and making decisions on complex issues that impact the entire community.
School board members must constantly reflect on a wide variety of educational topics. In AHPS, many of these topics are presented in a section on the school board meeting agenda labeled board development and training materials. These materials are accessible to the public by visiting the school division website, www.ahps.k12.va.us, and navigating to the School Board drop-down menu.
“The February meeting agenda highlights the broad range of topics on which our school board provides sophisticated guidance to strengthen AHPS,” said Halterman and Snead-Johnson.
A sampling of February topics included student educational progress, gym updates, autism training reports, upcoming Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) surveys, and budget matters.
In recognition of their service, members of the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Board were presented with certificates of appreciation and a special gift during a Feb. 13 board meeting. The gift, a cutting board made by carpentry students at Jackson River Technical Center, was presented to school board members by JRTC Principal Glenn Spangler. The cutting boards were extremely popular at Christmastime. The JRTC students took orders for the cutting boards in December, and they sold at a very brisk pace.
It was also School Board Clerk Appreciation Week, and School Board Clerk Karen Willis and Deputy Clerk Fred Vaughan were recognized.
“Our clerks work behind-the-scenes to ensure accuracy of school board materials and transparency of materials for the public. We are incredibly grateful for their service,” said Halterman and Snead-Johnson.
The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division serves approximately 2,700 students. The public can stay abreast of AHPS news and activities by following its Facebook page at AHPublicSchools.