The Richmond County Board of Education received a presentation Tuesday on Richmond Vision 2020 from Richmond Community College’s President Dale McInnis and Chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Kenneth Robinette during its monthly meeting. Both serve as co-chairs of Vision 2020.
The Comprehensive Strategic Plan, which revisits goals and plans from former civic indexes, focuses on strengthening educational performance, creating Richmond County as a tourism destination and by virtue of both of these key concepts establishes the third main point of interest, namely creating jobs through economic development.
“Education is a factor for the success of this vision,” said McInnis. “We want to improve high school graduation rates, as well as education attainment in Richmond County. We took some of the metrics already in use and built them into the plan. Our goals are based on state averages.”
McInnis explained that Richmond County will be measured against the state average as well as surrounding counties. He stressed the need for Richmond Community College and Richmond County Schools to strengthen their partnership in order to help Vision 2020 succeed.
According to the research put into the plan, Richmond County has more businesses than many of the neighboring counties. Meanwhile, the number one economic challenge the county faces is lowering the unemployment rate. McInnis said that in order to bring unemployment from 12.7 percent to 10 percent, the county would need to create 700 jobs. The co-chairs proposed that in order to do so, Richmond County must “expand the economic impact of tourism.” Research shows that since 1991, Richmond County has doubled its tourism income, they reported.
Further economic development strategies include taking advantage of and building on assets such as Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and forming tighter relationships between towns and cities in the county.
In other matters, the school board:
• Recognized the North Carolina Governor’s School Candidate, TyRik Thompson, who is in the 11th grade.
• Heard from the International Technology Engineering & Education Association, which awarded teacher Greg Norton with a national award.
• Received a presentation on Occupational Course of Study from Jeanette Davis, who trains and places developmentally challenged students in the workforce. Student Isaiah Ellerbe received a plaque and gave a speech in which he said he enjoys his job at East Rockingham Senior Center.
• Recognized the National Board Certified Teacher Meghan Barberousse, who is also a guidance counselor at Ellerbe Middle School.
• Learned about the BioMoto Challenge Winners, about the program and the video the students must now put together about their experience.
• Heard a presentation by Sandhills Leadership Academy participants, who train to become principals through a unique, experiential alternative licensure process.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.