Patrick dedicated to students, high performance county

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane toured Woolwine Elementary School on Friday. He is pictured with Linda Hopkins, a teacher at the school. Dean Gilbert is pictured in the background.
Students in Woolwine Elementary School created a celebratory welcome sign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane. Students are flanked by Lane, (far right), and J. David Martin, Acting Superintendent of Patrick County Schools, (left).

By Cory L. Higgs

Patrick County was deemed a “high performance” locality by Dr. James Lane, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

While touring Woolwine Elementary School on Friday, Aug. 23, Lane said the county also is dedicated to its students.

A note prepared by students greeted him as he entered the school. “Welcome Dr. Lane,” it read.

Jeannie King, principal, provided a tour of the school to Lane and other officials that included Acting Superintendent Dr. J. David Martin; Dean Gilbert, Director of Operations and Andrea Cassell, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.

The group stopped for a brief visit in Linda Hopkins’ classroom. Hopkins, a Language Arts teacher, is taking full advantage of the technology in the classroom. She said her students are fully immersed in technology and that all are using smart TVs and Chromebooks.

Hopkins has been an educator for 47 years and continues to stay abreast of the new technological advancements in classrooms.

Patrick County is a “high performance” county, Lane said, and explained the county school division takes full advantage of the technology available to schools.

Lane said the area also  exhibits a real sense of community, and that was apparent in the way that Hopkins educates her students.

“Hopkins cares. She shows how dedicated this county is to its kids,” Lane said, adding that one way to spot a good school is to look for smiling faces. Woolwine Elementary has plenty of those, he said.

Lane also visited schools in Floyd and Franklin counties and the City of Danville on Aug. 23.

The tour was prompted by a commitment to visit every school district in Virginia – a commitment that Lane said he made when he was appointed to office in June, 2018.

He added that is a goal he will continue to work towards.

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