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BCPS recognized at school board conference

posted Nov 18, 2015, 8:00 AM by Bcps Bcps   [ updated Nov 18, 2015, 8:05 AM ]

  Burke County Public Schools received two recognitions at the North Carolina School Board Association (NCSBA) Annual Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Burke County Board of Education Chair Randy Burns was named to the 2014-15 All State Board, and the BCPS Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Department’s learning expeditions to the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Agriculture and Math) Academy received an honorable mention in the Award for Excellence in Educational Program category. 

Burns has served on the school board since 2011 and was re-elected earlier this month. He has served as board chair since December 2013, served as board vice chair prior to that and chairs the board’s Workforce Development Subcommittee.

In a recent nomination letter to the NCSBA, Burns’ fellow board members said, “Mr. Burns’ passion for education, his connections to the manufacturing community and his diplomatic demeanor have moved our school system and the business of educating our students forward. This is evident in programs such as our STEAM Academy and Career and Technical Education department, in the amount of technology and infrastructure we have added, and the improved relationships with not only the business and industry community but also our county commissioners.”

Superintendent Larry Putnam said of Burns, “He continues to effectively use his background in manufacturing, business, industry and engineering to impact student career readiness programs. His leadership has opened avenues of communication between local manufactures and BCPS as we ensure our graduates have the skills they need to find jobs and impact our local economy.” 

Ed Dunlap, executive director of the NCSBA, said to Burns, “I know that you have worked long hours to promote the interests of the children in your district. Your service on the Burke County Board of Education is truly appreciated.”   

Randy Burns, second from left, is the chair of the Burke County Board of Education and one of eight members from across the state on the All State Board. He is pictured with BOE Vice Chair Sam Wilkinson, BCPS Assistant Superintendent David Fonseca and Superintendent Larry Putnam.  

Learning expeditions to STEAM expose third- through eighth-graders to advanced lessons that are inquiry based and provoke critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills while incorporating technology. Past lessons include apiary, biotechnology, forensic investigation, aerodynamic design and mechanical engineering. Burke Board of Education members expressed their vision for the STEAM Academy four years ago and within a year, opened the collaborative effort between BCPS, the N.C. School of Science and Math (NCSSM), Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC) and the N.C. School for the Deaf. Located in Hildebran Hall on the WPCC campus, it is a daily destination for high school students enrolled in advanced courses, such as Project Lead the Way, forensic science, anthropology, aerospace engineering and calculus. The AIG learning expeditions program is part of the BOE’s goal to expose students in early grade levels to STEM curriculum through field trips three times a year. A total of 370 elementary students and 540 middle school students take part annually.

Putnam said, “The learning expeditions coincide with the board- and state-approved AIG plan. The AIG vision includes inspiring gifted students to reach and exceed their academic and intellectual potential. I would like to thank former AIG Director Sharon Colaw and current Director Kathy Amos and the team of AIG specialists for their hard work in not only the logistics of getting the students from their schools to STEAM but also for the engaging learning experience the students enjoy each time they make the trip."

AIG students play back a video they produced in preparation for a presentation during an apiary lesson.

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Burke County Public Schools
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