Martinsville High School Robotics receives donation

October 30, 2012


Bulletin Staff Writer

Representatives of Making Better Communities (MBC), the charitable arm of Mid-Atlantic Broadband, presented a $6,000 donation for the robotics program at Martinsville High School at the city school board meeting Monday night.

The money will sponsor the FIRST Lego League Robotics team at Martinsville High School, according to Kim Buck, the school division’s community outreach and grants coordinator. “FIRST Lego League is the name of the program. It does not mean that this is the ‘first’ robotics team at the high school,” she wrote in an email.

Jeremy Satterfield, MBC business development manager, presented the check to Anne Stultz, the school division’s 21st century programs coordinator.

Also at the meeting, during a time for public comments, Naomi Hodge-Muse said, among other things, that the school system needs to have an affirmative action hiring plan to actively pursue hiring minorities. She is president of the Martinsville-Henry County NAACP.

Similarly, according to the minutes of the school board’s Aug. 13 meeting, school board member the Rev. James C. Richardson Jr. “urged that the administration be proactive and aggressive in pursuing the employment of minority teachers, administrators and coaches.”

The Aug. 13 minutes say that Richardson “applauded the administration for recently re-assigned and newly assigned current personnel to administrative positions but noted that there were no African-Americans among the newly appointed teachers and staff for this year.”

In other business:

• The school board approved a two-hour early dismissal of schools on Friday, Dec. 21, the last day before Christmas break.

• Sandy Forrest, the division's career and technical education coordinator, said that Martinsville High School senior Fatgezim Bela was elected state president of Jobs for Virginia Graduates program at a recent student leadership conference in Roanoke. He was selected president by his peers after he wrote and delivered a speech on why he would make a good leader.

He will compete at the national level in November when he travels all expenses paid to the National Student Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C., according to information Buck provided. Bela is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses and the dual enrollment Academy for Engineering Technology program at New College Institute. He aspires to become a biomedical engineer.

Jobs for Virginia Graduates is a workforce readiness curriculum that teaches students career skills, job search and interview skills, leadership and self-development. It is affiliated with the national Jobs for America's Graduates program. MHS is one of 18 schools in Virginia to participate in the competitive-grant-funded program, according to information Buck provided.

• Travis Clemons, the school system’s executive director of finance and development, gave an update on renovations at Martinsville High School. Among other things, he said 50 percent of the plumbing and 70 percent of the duct work are complete in G Building.

• Clemons also gave a financial report.

• Schools Superintendent Pam Heath gave a report about a teacher evaluation model that is being developed and will be presented later to the school board for review and approval. Part of the evaluation will be based on growth in student achievement.

• Heath gave a school accountability update.

• Officials praised a career fair that was held at Martinsville High School on Monday.

• Anne Stultz said 18 Virginia teams are scheduled to compete at the regional robotics competition at Martinsville Middle School on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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