VINTON–Vinton’s elementary and secondary schools welcomed students and their families back to school with Open Houses and orientations during the week of August 17.
The Chamber of Commerce, area merchants, and Vinton Baptist Church did their part to welcome the faculty and staffs of those same schools back as schools got underway for the 2015-2016 year on August 24.
William Byrd High School administrative assistant Vicky Carrell asked Angie Chewning, executive director of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce, if she could put together some “Welcome Back” items for the teachers at William Byrd.
Chewning quickly agreed saying, “It’s a very small gesture we can take part in for all that teachers do for our kids, and that in turn has an effect on the whole community.”
Carrell’s request blossomed into over 325 goodie bags for teachers and staff at Herman L. Horn and W. E. Cundiff Elementary schools, William Byrd Middle and WBHS, with donations of candy, pens, cups, beach balls, flashlights, jar openers, free and discount coupons, free samples, fans, key chains, copies of the Vinton Messenger, and other what-knots from area businesses.
Volunteers at the Chamber office, including Shirley Rice, Bootie Chewning, Joan Drewry, Diane Barnes, and Hannah Sowers stuffed the goodie bags which were then delivered to the schools on teacher workdays.
Vinton Baptist Church showed their appreciation with their second annual luncheon for teachers on August 17.
They invited teachers from the Vinton schools, Bonsack, and Mount Pleasant Elementary, for “food, fellowship, and prizes.”
About 250 teachers, administrators, and office personnel accepted the invitation thanks to the principals of the schools who encouraged their staffs to attend and provided flexibility in their schedules to allow for the treat. The luncheon was catered by Brenda Johnson of Teaberry’s and organized and supported by numerous members of the VBC congregation.
Dr. Greg Killough, new school superintendent for Roanoke County Schools, also attended. Former Roanoke County principal and WBHS football coach Steve Lonker (also a deacon at VBC) served as front door greeter.
“The whole idea is to show our teachers in the community how much we appreciate what they are doing in not only being leaders for our children, but also as being ‘leader makers’ who help our children discover their own gifts and abilities,” said Dr. Bill Booth, senior pastor at Vinton Baptist.
Students and parents at W.E. Cundiff met the teachers, dropped off supplies, and visited classrooms on the evening of August 20. WBHS freshman had more than one chance to orient themselves to high school life with the traditional “Dog Pound Orientation” earlier in the summer on July 23 and a business-focused session on August 19.
Sixth grade students at WBMS had the opportunity to run through an abbreviated schedule of classes and met their teachers and school administrators on August 21.
Herman L. Horn held their annual Open House and hot dog cookout for students, families, and staff on August 20. New HLH principal Peggy Stovall recruited her husband Jeff to man the grill and thanked local businesses and organizations who contributed to defray the costs of the event including hot dogs from the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club, drinks from Pepsi, condiments from Bob Lewis at the Vinton McDonald’s, and funds from the Vinton Host Lions Club, Greenway Construction, and Kroger.
According to Stovall the Open House is their biggest event of the year and gives students, parents, teachers, and staff the opportunity to get to know one another in a relaxed setting.