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Trustees Recognize Students, Bus Drivers

School board members recognized a number of students and three outstanding bus drivers during the April school board meeting Monday night at the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax. First up were the school division art winners in the VSBA Southern Regional Forum art competition. Prior to introducing the nine student winners to the board, Deputy Superintendent Larry Clark said, “This regional art contest was started in 1989 to promote the artistic talents of Virginia’s public school students.”
Elementary school winners included first place — Wendy Moreno, first grade, South Boston Elementary School; second place—Ellie Weatherford, kindergarten, Sinai Elementary School; third place—Caleb Coates, fourth grade, Meadville Elementary School.

Middle school winners were first place—Morgan Arthur, seventh grade; second place—Imani Brayboy, eighth grade; and third place—Austine Lowe, seventh grade.

High school winners were first place—Malcolm Carrington, 12th grade; second place—Dylan Compton, 12th grade; and third place—Allison Conner, 11th grade.
In addition Malcolm Carrington won third place in Region VIII for his “Haiti Lady.”

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Joe Griles introduced members of the Halifax County High School one-act play team, winners in the Western Valley District One-Act Play Festival to the school board. Griles said this is the third time in four years the HCHS one-act play team has won this particular competition.

School Board Chairman Walter Potts presented certificates on behalf of the board to Daneisha Carr, Caitlin Helinski, Ashley Powell, Elizabeth Brogden, Mark Aaron, Matthew Ballou, Shane Brogden, Brandon Tingen, Julia Simon and Tony Landrum. Brandi Winstead also was a member of the group but was not able to attend Monday’s meeting.

Griles said the Comets placed four members on the five-member all district cast, including Carr, Helinski, Ballou and Winstead. The Comets also finished in fifth place in the Northwest Regional Drama Competition and placed Carr on the All-Regional cast. Of over 130 actors in the competition, the judges rated Carr with the second highest score, Griles said.

The board recognized three high school students for their accomplishments in the Poetry Out Loud competition. Providing background for the competition, Griles said the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation has partnered with the state arts agencies to promote a program for high school students that encourages students to learn about poetry through memorization and performance.

Last year 300,000 competed nationwide, and the 2009 national winner was William Farley from Virginia, Griles said. Local winners were Daniesha Carr, first place; Julia Simon, second place; and Erica Muse, third place. Carr also was recognized as first runner-up in the state. The board also recognized the students’ co-sponsors, high school English teachers Becky Donner and Mary Eanes.

The school board recognized three school system bus drivers for their accomplishments in the Region VIII School Bus Road-E-O competition held recently at Southside Virginia Community College in Keysville.

Janice Powell, Michelle Jordan and Cynthia Blue were presented a team trophy, and Blue received a trophy for having the top individual score.

Director of Transportation Dave Guill said the competition consisted of three parts, including a written test, written pre-inspection and an actual road course.

Halifax County won the competition and also had the top single score of all bus drivers who participated in the regional competition.