During their April meeting, the Laurel School Board honored students from North Laurel Learning Academy and Laurel Elementary School. The students received certificates and gave presentations to the board about books they read.
North Laurel’s principal David Hudson talked to the board about the family reading day they held at the school.
“Our students have read over 6,400 books so far this year,” said Principal Hudson. “We had our day where parents could come to see what their children are doing with their reading. We are very proud of what the students have accomplished. We had a very good turnout for the event.”
The top readers of the month in the school were honored and presented certificates. The top readers were kindergarteners: Tanner Brennan, 259 books; Greyson Gianacoplis, 175 books; Jazyri Jefferson, 151 books; and Charleigh Ewell, 175 books.
Rising Stars from the first grade at Laurel Elementary School gave a presentation on the book they read about Black Beard the Pirate. The students acted out parts. Some were dressed as pirates and others as travelers looking at the treasure map. The students made a pop-up book depicting the story. The team placed third in the region for their presentation.
Several community members voiced their concerns to the board. Robert Horsey spoke about two matters. The first was about a video that was shared on social media that showed problems within Laurel High School and the second was not rehiring Eston Ennis as the head football coach.
“If we want to attract people to this school district, it starts with the school system,” said Horsey. “We need to try and stop the social media posts which show our schools in a bad light. Also, I understand it was a personnel issue which caused Coach Ennis not to be rehired, but Mr. Larrimore, I just wanted the board to know that it is not all about wins. Success is about how you change people’s lives and Coach Ennis changes many of these young men’s lives. We are not taking care of the kids who are not going to college and I think we need to change.”
Laurel Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore responded to Mr. Horsey’s comment.
“Mr. Ennis is a good man and our position is known,” said Larrimore. “As far as what happened in the high school, we have had coverage to help with any situation which may have occurred. The high school’s principal has been going through family issues and we have all been there to help. We will work to get answers to your concerns.”
Another community member, Steven Townsend, addressed the Coach Ennis situation.
“As a concerned grandfather of children within the school system, we have gone through four coaches recently and I agree with others that wins and losses are not the only ways people are affected. We have a middle school team which was undefeated this year and we want those kids to make the choice to stay at Laurel. The kids are going to get tired of the changes and will go some place else to play sports. Coach Ennis worked very hard to keep these kids together and helped many find colleges to attend. We need coaches like Coach Ennis to be here to build the teams.”
In other reports, the district is 75 percent through the year and the budget is in good shape. They have received 90 percent of the state money, 90 percent of local monies and 100 percent of grant funds. Salaries are in line with where they should be at this point of the year.