After the Ashe County Board of Education approved the appointment of new superintendent Dr. Todd Holden at its regular meeting June 3, it received a year-end assessment of the mental health services provided to the district’s students.
Child Nutrition Director Martha Turner announced that the ice cream bid, and food and supply bid for the 2013-14 school year showed costs had been reduced as much as 15 percent through ACS’s participation in a buyer’s alliance with 87 other school districts across the state.
“We’re saving several thousand on food if we go with this bid,” Turner said.
Turner also informed the board that, despite substantial savings on food, school lunch prices may have to increase $2.10 at the high school and middle school, and $1.85 at the elementary schools. Students would be able to waive any increase for 2013-14, she said.
“We want to, if at all possible, not increase food prices,” Turner said.
Bus driver James Pennington was recognized as a county and regional winner of the 2013 School Bus ROADeo. Held at the North Carolina fairgrounds May 21, the competition featured 48 bus drivers taking on driver safety challenges including parallel parking, railroad crossing, and negotiating tight spaces.
Board Chair Charlie King introduced Dr. Ernest “Todd” Holden as the board’s pick for superintendent out of a field of 48 applicants, marking the official end of a six-month superintendent search. Holden’s appointment was enthusiastically approved by the board.
Hailing from Mississippi, Holden received his bachelors, masters and advanced degrees from ASU, and his doctorate from Wingate University. As an educator, he has worked as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, director of high school curriculum and career technical education, and principal.
Touting Holden’s qualifications, the board also found him personally well-suited to lead Ashe County’s school system. “He seems to be a pretty good old country boy,” said Board Member Polly Jones.
“You grew up poor,” said Board Member Terry Williams to Holden. “Nobody ever gave you anything.”
Board Member Dr. Lee Beckworth said this was Holden’s second application for superintendent of Ashe County Schools. He assumes office effective July 1, 2013.