School district staff, faculty celebrate ‘super’ year

 

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 1,100 images
* 2014 event coverage

ROCKINGHAM — It’s a way to say “thank you” for a job well done.

And for some, it’s a way to say goodbye.

The third annual end-of-year party staged on the practice fields at Richmond Senior High School. In between tournaments in cornhole and softball, as well as a tent decorating competition, the majority of Richmond County Schools’ 1,200 employees enjoyed a five-hour picnic and party.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com L.J. Bell Elementary School Principal Yvonne Gilmer, left, embraces Julie Curry, a new Richmond County Schools retiree.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
L.J. Bell Elementary School Principal Yvonne Gilmer, left, embraces Julie Curry, a new Richmond County Schools retiree.

Board of Education Chairman Wiley Mabe, along with board member Joe Richardson and a crew of volunteers, assisted with food preparation. Former board member Pam Easterling hired the band that performed throughout the affair — sometimes taking center stage while at other moments, the music settled into the background of the flurry of activity.

On the softball field, the bracket ended up in a virtual tie. The squad from Fairview Heights Elementary School beat Monroe Avenue Elementary School in one semifinal while Hamlet Middle School edged Rockingham Middle School 3-1 in the other semifinal matchup.

Due to the latest of the afternoon hour — and it was the first day of the not-yet-Summer to hit 90-plus degrees — it was agreed both Hamlet and Fairview Heights would be declared winners. Players on both winning rosters, however, decided to play for bragging rights.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ellerbe Middle School claimed the tent decoration contest with a "Welcome to Ellerbe" theme. The decorations highlighted DeWitt's Outdoor Sports, The Berry Patch and lawnmower racing at the Ellerbe Lions Club Speedway.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ellerbe Middle School claimed the tent decoration contest with a “Welcome to Ellerbe” theme. The decorations highlighted DeWitt’s Outdoor Sports, The Berry Patch and lawnmower racing at the Ellerbe Lions Club Speedway.

The rules were quite unlike Raiders varsity softball though they played on the same hollowed ground. Each game was limited to 15 minutes and each batter had to swing at the first and only pitch offered. Foul balls, and each swing-and-a-miss, were outs. One early game was decided by a coin flip.

Some players took the competition more seriously than others, though most everyone laughed no matter the outcome.

Brittany (nee Tedder) Bullard, the Monroe Avenue Elementary School played shortstop to finish up her third year as a teaching assistant. The play on the field was fun, but life inside a classroom, Bullard said, is even better.

“It’s awesome,” said Bullard, a former Raider softball standout who earned a spot on Wingate University’s softball team. “I love it.”

Ellerbe Middle School claimed the tent decoration contest with a “Welcome to Ellerbe” theme. The decorations highlighted DeWitt’s Outdoor Sports, The Berry Patch and lawnmower racing at the Ellerbe Lions Club Speedway.

Dr. Cindy Goodman, superintendent, said she was impressed each for each of the decorated tents but admitted a bit of apprehension when learning the Ninth Grade Academy had chosen the theme “50 Shades of Green.”

“It made me nervous,” Goodman said.

Receiving plaques of appreciation put some new retirees on pins and needles. A representative from each school recognized this year’s retirees — with some having started their vacations in December.

For some, the announcements came as bittersweet. Leak Street High School Principal Susan Brigman acknowledged Linda Allen Thomas and her 26 years in education, including the last eight with Richmond County Schools. The Rockingham High School graduate retired in January and Brigman noted that while she’d hoped to be enjoying a trip to the beach or even the end-of-year picnic, instead Thomas is enduring a battle with cancer.

 

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Nate Blunk slides safely into third base after Richmond Senior High School third baseman Lt. Col. Jon Ring misplayed a grounder.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Nate Blunk slides safely into third base after Richmond Senior High School third baseman Lt. Col. Jon Ring misplayed a grounder.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rockingham Middle School's Teresa Mason tags out a Hamlet Middle School runner between first and second in a semifinal contest.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rockingham Middle School’s Teresa Mason tags out a Hamlet Middle School runner between first and second in a semifinal contest.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Kevin Wallace, Rockingham Middle School assistant principal, low-fives Jamie McDonald after a home run.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Kevin Wallace, Rockingham Middle School assistant principal, low-fives Jamie McDonald after a home run.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Burgers, sausage dogs and hot dogs were fresh off the grill and packaged with chips, a cookie and a drink for each of the 1,200 Richmond County Schools employees.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Burgers, sausage dogs and hot dogs were fresh off the grill and packaged with chips, a cookie and a drink for each of the 1,200 Richmond County Schools employees.

 

Filed in: Education, Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Hamlet, Hoffman, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors, Rockingham

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