Down East Seniors welcome superintendent

Published 4:24 pm Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its Sept. 28 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Chip Ide led the singing of “God Bless America,” and Charlie Mike Smith gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Hamrick introduced Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. Phipps said the school system has approximately 7,200 students in 14 schools with 1,372,000 square feet of building space. When he assumed the position in 2010, the graduation rate was 59 percent of the students who had begun high school four years earlier. Last year, it was 81 percent. The system has 104 buses which travel a total of 7,400 miles per day. Last year, the cafeterias served a total of 324,000 breakfasts and 810,000 lunches. Seventy-five percent of students receive free or reduced cost meals. After the sophomore year, a student can choose some courses that are “dual credit;” that is, they provide both high school and college credit. The school system is focusing on Career and Technical Education courses. CTE courses are intended to provide vocational skills to students who do not plan to attend college. Beaufort County Schools is working with Beaufort County Community College in this effort.

Gene Schwartz won the 50/50 drawing.