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As the 2023-24 school year draws to a close, I am filled with pride and gratitude as I reflect on the incredible accomplishments of our students and staff. 

It has been a remarkable year, and our final week was a fitting celebration of our collective efforts and successes.

At Belmont Elementary School and Manning Elementary School, our fifth graders marked the significant milestone of finishing elementary school with their dance and graduation ceremonies. It is truly heartwarming for these young students to celebrate their achievements and prepare for the next chapter of their educational journey in middle school. 

Their joy and excitement are contagious, and it is a reminder of the bright future that lies ahead for each of them.

Congratulations to Belmont Elementary School teacher Stephanie Taylor on her selection as the Outstanding K-5 Math Teacher of the Year for RRGSD! 

The North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) strive to recognize teachers who exemplify mathematics teaching excellence by nurturing students' enthusiasm for mathematics through everyday classroom experiences. 

The recognition for this coming school year is for those elementary teachers who succeed in motivating students to excel in mathematics. 

NCCTM provides each selected outstanding teacher with one year's membership to the NCCTM, a personalized award, and recognition at the NCCTM State Conference on Thursday, November 14, 2024, in Winston-Salem. 

In addition, each selected teacher’s name will appear in the Fall issue of the NCCTM journal The Centroid and on the NCCTM website.

Chaloner Middle School also had an eventful week. 

Our eighth graders participated in Move Up Day, a special event that symbolizes their transition to high school. 

This was a poignant moment for our students, families, and educators, as it marked the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. 

Additionally, our seventh graders showcased their literary talents in completing their Reading Competition. 

The level of enthusiasm and skill displayed by our students was impressive and highlighted the strong emphasis we place on literacy and critical thinking.

 A special mention goes to Chaloner Middle School student Jacob Martinez, who not only won the local Sons of the American Revolution Brochure Contest but also secured second place in the state competition.

Jacob's achievement is a testament to his hard work, creativity, and dedication. We are incredibly proud of him and look forward to seeing his future accomplishments.

The week culminated with the Roanoke Rapids High School Graduation, a ceremony filled with joy, tears, and anticipation. 

Our graduating seniors have demonstrated resilience, perseverance, and excellence throughout their high school journey. 

During the ceremony, Valedictorian Emma Grace Wells, Salutatorian Kamdyn Jean, Student Body President Emily Campbell-Tyler, and Senior Class President Wyatt Beaver shared memories and well wishes with their graduating class. 

I was honored to share words of encouragement with our graduating seniors. As they have now walked across the stage, received their diplomas, and left our campus, they will carry with them the knowledge, skills, and values that will serve them well in their future endeavors. 

We wish them all the best as they embark on the next phase of their lives.

Another bittersweet part of the end of the school year is the recognition of our staff who are retiring this year. We celebrated Patricia Brooks, Lori Pleasant, and Wendy Howard (Manning Teachers); Janice Miller (Belmont Teacher); Stephen Milligan and Mary Rowe (Chaloner Teachers); Major Cynthia Bunch and Sandy Eisenmenger (RRHS Teachers); Delores Pierce and Crystal Rooker (Teacher Assistants); Ron Baird and Rex Stainback (School Resource Officers); Lillian Darden, Alesia Webb, and Evangeline Whitaker (School Nutrition); Kelvin Sanders (Technology); and Jean Thompson (Board Clerk) on Monday during our district Family Fun Day. 

Their commitment, passion, and years of service have made a lasting impact on our students, our schools, and our community. 

These educators and staff members have not only imparted knowledge but have also inspired, mentored, and nurtured countless students and colleagues over the years. 

Their legacy of excellence and dedication will continue to influence future generations.

As this school year comes to an end, so too does The Yellow Jacket Report until the 2024-25 school year resumes in August. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the great things happening with our students and staff in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District with the Roanoke Valley community. 

Your support and engagement have been invaluable, and I look forward to continuing our journey together in the new school year.

Thank you for your commitment to our schools and for celebrating the achievements of our students.

Have a wonderful and restful summer, and we look forward to seeing you in August!