2/2/2021 Board of Education Meeting

In this meeting the topics covered were COVID updates, district spotlights, and teacher voices.


Photo by Katelyn Lewis

Brunswick County Health Department Director, David Stanley is discussing COVID updates across the county.

Katelyn Lewis, Editor in Chief

The Board of Education held a meeting last night in order to discuss important issues regarding Brunswick County schools. 

The meeting started off with a closed session, meaning the board talked privately about confidential matters. After about an hour of closed session, they made their way back to the meeting. Once everyone was seated they called up David Stanley, the Brunswick County Health Department Director, to discuss updates on COVID-19. Stanley informed the board on COVID case trends and discussed vaccinations. 

“We did see a lot of the surge that we anticipated for Thanksgiving and on through the Christmas break,” said Stanley. “Right now we are standing at 6,669 cases reported today in Brunswick County.” 

After discussing case trends in Brunswick County and our surrounding counties, Stanley moved on to the topic of COVID vaccinations. 

“Where we are at now is in group one and group two,” said Stanley. “So group one if you think about this way is our healthcare workers or our workers that have a lot of occasions to touch COVID patients or work in that healthcare industry, the second group is our older adults which started at 75 and older but has now been lowered to 65 and older,”

“The vaccine supply as I am sure y’all have heard is very limited,” said Stanley. “Its very limited coming into the state and its very limited coming into Brunswick County,” 

Once Stanley concluded, they called up Daniel Seamans, Chief Communications Officer, to talk about district spotlights. 

Seamans discussed a number of positive things going on in Brunswick County schools which included the number of students on A honor roll and A/B honor roll at every school. He then spotlighted teachers around the county who have been creative in their ways to interact with students and engage them in school. He also spoke about how schools are finding ways to broadcast sports games to people who can’t see them in person. Seamans even spoke about specific students who have achieved academic awards this past semester. 

Dr. Jerry Oates, the Superintendent of Brunswick County Schools, commented on Seamans’ presentation, complementing those students who are doing well in school this year.

 “We hear a great deal of the difficulties that this year has brought us, particularly with instruction and delivering instruction, and we all know that many students face hardships with virtual learning and the remote learning situation,” said Oates. “Their will to succeed far surpasses any obstacle that has been put in their place, so I definitely want to applaud all these students (who are doing so well in the midst of this pandemic), their teachers and their parents who are continuing to support them.”

After Seamans finished, the board called Jennie Bryan, BCS Teacher of the Year, to talk about teachers’ voices. Bryan spotlighted one of West’s own teachers, Kourtney Gore, who has been working hard to make sure that students’ voices are heard and that seniors will make memories despite an unusual school year. 

The meeting wrapped up with a discussion amongst the board about what would need to happen if high schools and middle schools were to go back five days a week. Some feel it is possible, while others said it would be very difficult to keep up certain COVID regulations and safety guidelines. Board members did not make any decisions on the topic, leaving it for future discussion as statewide health and safety guidelines perhaps change.