School system wants students to return as teachers
By CLAUD HODGES
The Beaufort County school system is making it easier for some of its students to return as teachers.
Beginning this year, the school system will offer three scholarships to graduating seniors who agree to return to the system after they graduate from college and teach for four years. The three scholarships will be offered annually.
The Beaufort County Teaching Scholars award program was unanimously approved by the Beaufort County Board of Education during its meeting Monday night.
Each scholarship will award up to $6,000 per year to a recipient.
The scholarship will pay for a student’s tuition and books, said Superintendent Jeff Moss.
He cited a 30- to 35-percent annual teacher turnover rate at S.W. Snowden Elementary School in Aurora.
He said the scholarship program provides a way for the system to obtain teachers with ties to the area.
All applicants for the program will be interviewed by a committee that includes Beaufort County Schools employees and school-board members John White and Cindy Winstead.
Applicants must supply their high-school transcripts, their SAT and ACT scores and forms filled out by three references. For this year’s applicants, completed applications and references are due June 2. Graduating seniors who have been accepted for college admission are eligible to apply.
Beaufort County Schools will accept applications from high-school students whenever they have met most of the minimum college-admissions requirements as well as the requirements for high-school graduation at the end of the academic year in which the selection is made. The awarding of the scholarships will be contingent upon college admission for the fall semester of the award year.
Applications are available at the high schools and the school system’s central office. An application may be downloaded by visiting www.beaufort.k12.nc.us.
If a scholarship recipient stops going to college or decides not to return to the school system to teach, that recipient must reimburse the school system the amount of scholarship money he or she received, Moss said.
In other business, the board decided not to rescind its April 28 decision to terminate the Beaufort County Schools summer feeding program. The school system’s Minority Advisory Committee had asked the board to reconsider its decision to stop the program.
The program was held at John Small School last year, and the committee asked that it be held there again this year. Earlier this month, the committee told the board it would supply volunteers to help operate the program.
For each of the 12,000 meals served last summer, the program lost about $1, Belcher said.
Hastings said the program might come close to breaking even it had enough participants.
In other action, the board discussed a draft of a possible drug-testing policy for the school system.
According to the policy, students could be tested for using alcohol, PCP, amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, barbiturates, opiates or other drugs specified in the policy.
The board took no action on the matter.