Dr. Twiford’s final Friday Report

Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By Travis Twiford,

Interim superintendent

Tyrrell County Schools

For the past five months I have had the honor to serve as the Tyrrell County Schools’ Interim Superintendent. During that time I have learned a lot about your school system and your community. Being new to the community, I had the unique opportunity to look at the school system with an objective and unbiased perspective. In my last Friday Report, I want to share with you some things that I observed during my time in the county.

The first thing observed was is that this community is very supportive of its schools. The churches, community organizations as well as the Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners are enthusiastic partners of the schools. Clearly their mantra is that we have to work together in order for our schools to be successful. Organizations like the Tyrrell County Ministerial Association and the Pocosin Arts organization provide enrichment and support that would otherwise be unavailable. Although the county is not rich in fiscal resources, it is well stocked with a supportive community.

The second thing that I observed is the abundance of dedicated teachers and support staff. Clearly, the employees of the school system are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. The instructional personnel care for the students as if they were their own children. The child nutrition staff makes sure the students are well fed. The bus drivers greet children each morning with a warm smile and take them home with a happy “Hope you had a good day” salute. The custodial staff keeps the schools clean and neat. The maintenance staff keeps the buildings in top working order.

The third thing that I observed is the effective leadership of the school board, the central office staff and the school principals. Your board of education is focused on their role as policy makers for the system. They set the goals and the parameters under which the school personnel work. They freely give of their time and energy to set the direction of the school district. The central office staff, though small in number, works tirelessly to carry out the mission established by the board. They provide support for the school principals as needed even though they have responsibilities in a number of different areas. The school principals work to implement board policy, provide structure, and serve as instructional leaders.

The fourth thing observed is the resourcefulness of the school system. I have observed the effective way the school system leadership has used grants and other resources to provide outstanding access to technology. Few school systems in the state have the quality of technology available to the students as is evidenced here. Clearly, the school system’s leaders were visionary in the development of the technology infrastructure. The partnership with Beaufort Community College is another example of the forward thinking of school system leadership. The partnership is cost effective and enriches the educational experience of the students in Tyrrell County.

Next week, your school system will be welcoming a new superintendent. This community is fortunate to have a person with his qualities coming to the system. Mr. Holley is fortunate to be working with a community and school personnel with the qualities that I have observed. I know that you will welcome him with the same enthusiasm with which you welcomed me. I feel things are aligned for a bright future for the Tyrrell County Schools. I wish Mr. Holley, the entire community and school system much success. I believe your future is bright.