Washington County Commissioners recently had an opportunity to tour county schools alongside Washington County Board of education members, and for some schools, state elected officials. The tours ran from October 11 through November 7.
“This was a tremendous opportunity for us as commissioners to see firsthand the great things going on in our schools and to understand how county funding is used for student education,” Washington County Commissioner and member of the Health Education and Welfare Committee, Ken Huffine said. “We appreciate the school board’s very kind invitation to tour with them as it fosters a cooperative spirit.”
School board chairman Mike Masters said that the opportunity to visit the schools is extremely helpful for future discussions and enables the board members to see both opportunities and challenges. Masters also commended the spirit of cooperation between the two governing bodies.
“We try to do this as a school board every year,” he said. “We always invite our commission and anyone else with city or local government. Commissioners can see two things: Number one, facilities, and number two, what’s being taught.” He said if there is a need for more classrooms or a new gym for example, tours allow commissioners to see the need. He said he appreciates the opportunity to communicate and the board “really enjoys the commission coming and visiting at our schools.”
State Representative Rebecca Alexander and State Representative Tim Hicks as well as State Senator Rusty Crowe also took part in some of the tours.
“There were about 20 of us touring the schools (November 7). We really enjoyed them making that time and effort,” Masters said.
State Representative Tim Hicks, who toured Sulphur Springs and Fall Branch said, “I was extremely excited and overwhelmed with how the schools are adapting to the students’ needs,” Hicks said. “There is so much teamwork involved. In grades 5-8, students are really working together.” Hicks, who said he passed a bill to get CTE and vocational education started in the grade schools said he was pleased to see Sulphur Springs already doing just that with CTE programs planned for Fall Branch. “We want to expand their thinking and give them something to look forward to in high school. This sets those students up for programs at Daniel Boone High School.”
Schools included were: Lamar Elementary, South Central Elementary, Ridgeview Elementary, Gray Elementary, David Crockett High, Daniel Boone High, West View Elementary, Grandview Elementary, Jonesborough Elementary, Jonesborough Middle, Asbury, Boones Creek Elementary, Sulphur Springs Elementary and Fall Branch Elementary.
Local and state officials were on hand to tour Sulphur Springs Elementary School November 7. From left to right: State Representative Rebecca Alexander, State Representative Tim Hicks, State Senator Rusty Crowe, Washington County Commissioner Richard Tucker, Washington County Commissioner Ben Carder and Washington County School Board Chairman Mike Masters. Students left to right: Auggie Carver, Kale Broyles and Will Lancaster.