When one says, “There’s no grass going to grow under her feet,” many think of Jeanette Warwick, Superintendent of Craig County Public Schools (CCPS). She is known for being a woman of character, perseverance and caring for all of her students the same.
At the monthly School Board meeting on February 5, she shared with the Board how she and Samuel Foster had already started recruiting efforts for new employees.
“We attended the job fair at the Salem Civic Center on January 26 and talked with many qualified candidates, as we have several applications for open positions,” she said. “The online recruiting has also helped bring in more applications.”
Donna Duplazes, a local high school math teacher, shared information to the Board as they prepare for the next school year’s budget.
She submitted a paper with the most recent data from the Virginia Education Association Salary Survey titled: “Teacher’s Salaries – How does Craig County Public Schools compare?”
Out of the 132 school divisions throughout Virginia, Craig County ranked towards the bottom in virtually every pay category. For additional information regarding the results, visit veanea.org.
“We feel this greatly impacts the quality of applicants that we can draw into the school system,” said Duplazes before adding, “It is a big deal.”
Last week, according to Duplazes, The Virginia Education Association rallied in Richmond, “Read for Ed.” “They have gotten a huge response,” she noted. “The Governor, the House and the Senate are all proposing major raises but, as you know, the key term is for SOQ positions.”
Not all CCPS employees are SOQ positions. The proposal was clear that in order to receive the funding for teachers, it has to go to SOQ teachers and the entire percentage has to be completely given to the employees.
“I feel if we do not take this opportunity to obtain the money and match that raise for the positions that are SOQ, I am scared to death of what these numbers will look like if the other 127 schools above us take that five percent raise and we don’t,” noted Mrs. Duplazes. “I know that is asking the Board to dig deep and find that amount of money to fund the raises for the positions that are not SOQ. But, I also don’t know if our small school system can survive very long if you do not.”
Several recognitions were given during the Board meeting.
Zoi VanDyke took third-place for her age group in the drawing and painting category in the Buggy Art Contest held annually by the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology. “This is quite an accomplishment considering the contest had 98 entries from 10 schools and two art organizations. We are very proud of you,” Warwick said.
Cory County entered The Red Ribbon Poster Contest that was held annually by Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition. “Out of several schools he placed third,” Warwick said. The title was: “Life is your Journey, Travel Drug-Free.”
Susan Wilcher recognized for winning the Craig County Veterans of Foreign Wars Elementary Teacher of the Year Award, She was honored with a certificate of appreciation.
Warwick also recognized and thanked each of the dedicated School Board members, for a job well done, in honor of School Board Appreciation Month. They were: Aaron Calfee, Susan Crenshaw, George Foster and Pat Myers. Gina Smith was not present. All received a blue sweatshirt with the school’s emblem embroidered on the chest.
Adding to the list of appreciated employees were Diana Bayne and Sonja Switzer, being recognized for School Board Clerk Appreciation Week. They were also presented with a nice certificate.
The community members are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings held the first Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center.