ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Education spent roughly one-third of its 90-minute meeting Monday night spotlighting accomplishments and recognizing a couple of district firsts.
For the first time in district history, a school club has been selected by the National History Club organization as a National Chapter of the Year.
“To be selected, a local club must have exhibited exemplary activities, community service, and overall commitment during the school year,” said Bladen County Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor. “The East Bladen club is among an elite group of eight other clubs from states such as New York, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia named as National History Club of the Year.”
Recognized under the direction of East Bladen history teacher Sunday Allen, the History Club is now listed on the National History Club register.
The board also recognized East Bladen High School senior Emily Scott for her nomination for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award of Excellence. Scott was nominated by her school and selected as a top finalist, putting her in a group of only 25 students in the nation.
Open to all sophomore, junior, and senior athletes in the United States, the award focuses on athletic achievement, excellence in academics, and community engagement. The nomination marks the third time a student from East Bladen has been selected as a top 25 finalist.
Also for the first time in history, 19 district students are graduating this year with an associate’s degree. Bladen Community College President William Findt joined Taylor at the meeting in congratulating the students on their accomplishment.
In addition to the recognitions above, the board also spotlighted:
— West Bladen’s HOSA program for winning first place as a Neighboring Parents for Life Saving Lives Locally and for receiving the Community Hero award. Second place in the Neighboring Parents category went to East Bladen. Both schools received monetary awards from Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center.
— The winners of the Sampson-Bladen Oil/Bladen County Schools Spelling Bee for grades 6-8. First place went to Tar Heel Middle School student Arnterio Hooper, second place to Ocean Woody from Bladenboro Middle, and third place to East Arcadia’s Anthony Gregg.
— West Bladen students who participated in the state FCCLA conference. Payton Chavis won a silver medal in the Teach and Train event and advances to the national conference. Allie Marsh was awarded the FCCLA Order of the Rose, a distinction given to a state officer for dedication to FCCLA, securing sponsorships, and adhering to deadlines.
— Ten students who graduated as certified nurse aides. As nurse aids, the students are able to provide nursing or nurse-related services to residents in killed nursing facilities. The students scored 100 percent proficient on their exam.
“I believe that makes four or five years that our students have all scored 100 percent proficient,” commented Taylor.
— Thirty-seven students at West Bladen who received Microsoft Office certification.
In addition to spotlights, the board also:
— Approved lottery applications to replace roofs at Bladenboro Primary and Bladenboro Middle.
— Approved contracts with EduHealthcare for physical therapy and Speech Solutions for speech therapy.
— Approved a coaches’ contract that Robert Heavenridge said would streamline the coaches and assistants hiring process and provide better record keeping for payroll.
— Rescheduled the July monthly meeting from July 10 to July 17.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.