LINCOLNTON – At the first Lincoln County Board of Education meeting of 2019, the board voted in closed session to dismiss Union Elementary School principal Patrick Nelson.

On Nov. 29, 2018, Nelson was allegedly involved in an incident with a student at Union Elementary and was immediately suspended by Lincoln County Schools. Laurie Sellers, the assistant principal, is leading the school.

Also at the meeting, Associate Superintendent Rhonda Hagar and Samantha Campbell, the director of secondary education, presented information on development of a plan to help students at West Lincoln High School, Lincolnton High School and East Lincoln High School meet academic growth expectations.

The plan for meeting school growth is tailored on an individual basis for each high school. Campbell has been conducting professional development and feedback at each high school.

This information was requested by board member Heather Rhyne at the board meeting in December as a means for the board to determine if there were barriers that the board could help remove in order to meet growth.

“I will continue to be focused on every school in Lincoln County meeting growth because I wholeheartedly think it can be done,” said Rhyne in an interview after the meeting.

The Lincoln County Schools Legislative Priorities were presented by the Policy Committee and approved at the regular meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Education. These priorities will be presented by the board at a breakfast meeting with Lincoln County’s N.C. General Assembly members – Rep. Jason Saine and Sen. Ted Alexander – on Feb. 22.

The priorities include:

  • Permanently establishing the 15 point grading scale for the A-F school performance grades
  • Providing additional funding or positions to ensure student safety and continue to address mental health needs
  • Supporting Local Education Agency efforts to establish academically sound calendars based on the needs of the district
  • Increasing compensation for all educators
  • Permanently establishing adequate allotment support teachers in art, music, physical education and world languages to help Local Education Agencies meet the class size reduction mandate
  • Requiring equal accountability standards for all charter, virtual and private schools receiving public funding.

Other Business

  • The winner of the 2019 District Spelling Bee, Hannah Campos, a seventh-grader at North Lincoln Middle School was recognized.
  • The East Lincoln Middle School boys soccer team was recognized for completing its most successful season in school history by becoming the first team to go undefeated. The team posted a perfect 12-0 record.
  • The West Lincoln Middle School wrestling team was recognized as the Tri-County conference champions.
  • Lincoln County Schools recognized certified staff members who recently attained or renewed their National Board Certification. Lincoln County Schools has 113 National Board Teachers.
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