The Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education’s central office meeting room was filled with persons Tuesday night in a show of support for newly named Mount Airy Middle School Principal Susan Bunch. School officials announced on July 9 that Bunch been named principal. She replaced Eric Riggs, who has accepted a position as an eighth-grade science teacher in another district.
Bunch has served as the assistant principal for the middle school since 2007. She obtained her undergraduate degree from High Point University and received her Master of Arts degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University.
She began her educational career in Iredell-Statesville Schools, where she taught middle grade math for four years. Bunch is the mother of two sons, Evan and Cameron. Evan Bunch is a student at UNC-Charlotte and Cameron is a sophomore at Mount Airy High School.
Bunch thanked board members, Superintendent Dr. Greg Little and Assistant Superintendent Bryan Taylor for their support. “We have a lot of exciting things going on at Mount Airy Middle School and I invite all of you to come for a visit and see the exceptional experiences in learning that are going on every day there.”
Board Chairwoman Wendy Carriker thanked Bunch and her supporters for attending the meeting and said the board was excited for Bunch as well.
Little next told the board graduation rate figures were in and had improved from 91.4 percent to 91.7 percent. The previous rate ranked Mount Airy Schools second in the state.
“This is really a kindergarten through grade 12 award,” said Little. “Students make the decision to dropout in middle school and only stay around until they are 16. What this means is we are building hope for them and that is why they stay.”
In other business, City Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander and Director of Public Works Jeff Boyles gave a presentation to the board on a proposed Best Management Practices component of the ongoing greenway connector and river restoration project which would construct a wetland which also would serve to filter storm runoff.
Boyles said the wetland area would be built in a low-lying area near the front of Mount Airy Middle School and would include native plants in the area that amounts to a pond (that would not always be filled) built over a French drain system. He said the project is made possible through a grant from Pilot View Inc., a nonprofit conservation group, and comes at no additional cost to the city.
“This area will be natural yet maintained so it will not be an eyesore,” explained Boyles. “You could incorporate it into biology and science class curriculum so students could see how it works.”
Alexander told the group care would be taken in choosing plantings which also would bloom and attract butterflies and said they welcome the possibility of interpretive signs to tell the public what the site does.
The board approved the measure which grants a dedicated easement in perpetuity to the city for the project which is officially named a BMP bio protection cell. Boyles said that the project would probably take two months to complete.
The board also has scheduled a Renewal Session for Saturday. It will be held in the Mount Airy High School Media Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The focus of the meeting is on technology. Board members were reminded to bring their iPads and passwords for the hands-on session. The next business session of the board is set for Aug. 20.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.