Stanly school board names chair, vice chair for 2024 term

Carla Poplin and Bill Sorensen were elected to new leadership positions

ALBEMARLE — Prior to engaging in its regular agenda items, the Stanly County Board of Education held an organizational session at its Dec. 5 meeting to decide who would be the chair and vice chair for the next year.

Board member Carla Poplin was voted to the board’s chair position — replacing Glenda Gibson’s leadership seat — while Bill Sorensen was voted to the vice chair position that was previously held by Poplin.

As the nomination process for chair began, Gibson nominated Poplin and Rufus Lefler subsequently nominated Dustin Lisk.

Poplin won the vote 4-3 with votes from Gibson, Bill Sorensen, Vicky Watson and herself. Lisk also voted for himself and received votes from Lefler and Robin Whitaker.

“Thank you to the board for having confidence in me and allowing me to serve as board chair for this term,” Poplin said.

For the vice chair nomination, Lisk nominated Whitaker while Watson nominated Sorensen.

In another 4-3 split, Sorensen won with votes from Poplin, Gibson, Watson and himself as Whitaker received votes from herself, Lefler and Lisk.

Following the reorganization process, the school board held a series of recognition for honors throughout the school system, starting with awards from the recent North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) Annual Conference in Greensboro.

Endy Elementary School third-grader Carly Bree Honeycutt won second place for the NCSBA elementary poster contest while seven other Stanly students received honorable mentions.

The board then watched NCSBA middle school video contest submissions from North Stanly Middle School and South Stanly Middle School, followed by South Stanly High School’s submission for the NCSBA high school video contest.

On the next agenda item, board members presented Stanly Star award program recognitions to Stanfield Elementary School’s Jessica Dunn and Jamie Hamilton, Stanly STEM Early College High School’s Amanda Hranek and Meika Crump, and West Stanly Middle School’s Brittany Medlin and Kristi Hall.

The board then honored Amanda Yow (Oakboro Choice STEM) and Melissa Terry (Stanly STEM Early College) for winning the District Six Outstanding Elementary and High School Teaching Award from the NC Science Teachers Association (NCSTA).

The annual award is presented to teachers who demonstrate “excellent, creative, and innovative teaching of science” and is determined by other science educators as a recognition of professional excellence and contributions to teaching.

“To all of our teachers and students that were recognized, congratulations to them,” Gibson said. “I just want to point out that — being a former teacher — it really touches me to see students taking part in preparing and creating the videos that the middle and high school students did. Many years ago, I don’t remember Stanly County students taking part in the poster or the video contests, and now they do. I’m appreciative of everyone that worked on that.”

The Stanly County Board of Education will hold its first meeting of 2024 on Jan. 2 at a location to be determined.