The Halifax County Board of Education met on Oct. 4 and recognized Veronica Davis as the Employee of the Month for September, according to a press release.

Davis is responsible for the accurate and timely reporting of payroll data for all employees. She manages student data in PowerSchool, including enrollments, withdrawals, schedules, test scores, immunizations and demographics. Additionally, she is responsible for operating office equipment, ensuring the supply closet is stocked, and screening the mail.

“Ms. Davis has an awesome personality,” said Valerie Williams. “She works well with all our staff members, she is very patient, kind, and a hard worker. Though we’re out for the summer or may leave early, she is always here dedicated and faithfully working and one of the first administrative employees here to start her day all over again. When there is an event, she is present and has the occasion in order.

“Most of all, she demonstrates to us all how to be professional employees,” said Superintendent Eric Cunningham. “We are so glad to have Ms. Davis a part of Halifax County Schools. Thank you for all of your hard work.”

Davis said, “This award is especially dear to me because I was chosen by my peers, my coworkers and the staff. Their positive attitude and willingness to work with me have helped to make my job easier. We are an efficient team. I love what I do and the people I work with. Knowing that you appreciate me and my work encourages me to do my best. All of us cannot do this alone.”

Also announced during the meeting was Lakyah Hendricks as Halifax County School District Student of the Month. Her teacher, Sandra Shoulars, chose Lakyah to be Student of the Month because, “she has adjusted very well to third grade. She follows classroom rules, she’s respectful, and she’s responsible. Lakyah is a leader in my classroom and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She has served as restroom monitor, classroom assistant and hall monitor.

“When her peers need assistance, she helps them with a smile,” Shoulars continued. “She’s an awesome participant in class discussions and puts forth her very best effort to complete assignments promptly. Lakyah demonstrates what it means to have a growth mindset and be one of my third grade ‘Smart Cookies.’ She doesn’t give up, she works hard, and she strives for excellence. She is a model student in my class, and I’m very proud of her progress!”

Cunningham said, “Congratulations to Lakyah for being Halifax County Schools Student of the Month. Continue to Strive For Five!”

Lakyah said, “Math is my favorite subject because I like to work out subtraction math problems. I like to play with my siblings on the trampoline and hang out with my cousin.”

She gave advice for other students: “Never give up, and if you believe you can achieve, you can! I feel good about being Student of the Month. My family is going to be happy and excited.”

Also during the meeting, the board approved 7-0 on the superintendent’s recommendation for masks to be worn inside all Halifax County Schools buildings. The public is asked to adhere to the guidelines because “safety is our number one priority,” according to the press release. The board will vote monthly on the mask mandate. The next board meeting will be held on Nov. 8.

During the meeting, the board announced Halifax County Schools had met its projected enrollment target for the first time in five years. The enrollment forecast for the 2021-22 school year indicates 98 more students are attending Halifax County Schools. The state projected an enrollment of 2,065 students. Halifax County Schools have a current enrollment of 2,163 students.

The press release stated, “We have been charting a new course for six years, and we are starting to see the results of our strategic plan. We are now experiencing the buds breaking through the soil, and we will only continue to grow from here. Students are returning to Halifax County Schools, and because of this growth, we did not have to eliminate any staff positions.”

Cunningham said, “Thanks to the overwhelming support of the families in Halifax County School District and the excellent staff, and a dedicated, hard-working leadership team. We are Halifax!”

In other news, Halifax County Schools received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, according to the release. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. Halifax County Schools Finance Department has recently undergone an audit and will present audit findings at the November board meeting.

The following teachers were recognized for participating in a virtual conversation about their experiences with reading in the content area. These individuals shared feedback and information that will be helpful to WestEd that will provide future professional learning and coaching for HCS teachers. LaVonne McClain was very instrumental in identifying the nine teachers to participate:

• Kenya Clemonts, Northwest Collegiate

• Richard Auka, Northwest Collegiate

• Edwin Sexton, Northwest Collegiate

• Caroline York, Northwest Collegiate

• Tracey Brinkley, Northwest Collegiate

• Tomarra Hall, Southeast Collegiate

• Jennifer Friend, Southeast Collegiate

• David Shine, Southeast Collegiate

• Latoya Payton, Inborden Elementary

According to the press release, Halifax County Schools received a generous donation of personal protection equipment from the Lutheran Disaster Services of the Carolinas, Commissioner Mary Perkins-Williams. The school received a surplus of supplies and would like to give back to the community. If you are a part of the church community and your organization would like to receive supplies, reach out to Darian Pressley at 252-583-5111, Ext. 235.

October is National Principals Month, and the BOE recognizes Halifax County Schools principals for their tireless dedication to their students and the schools they serve. According to the release, “these school leaders fight every day to give their students the best education. It is time to thank our principals who have overcome challenges from a pandemic to focus on student learning, staff well-being and community pride.”

“I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to our principals,” Cunningham said. “I am exceptionally grateful to be associated with our team of principals. I can tell you it is substantial to see all the hard work, time away from families, and dedication to our students and staff that goes on behind the scenes. Please join me in thanking our outstanding group of principals.”