Former Polk County Schools superintendent honored, new scholarship announced at Board of Education meeting

Published 12:53 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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Two local prestigious foundations have teamed to honor former Polk County Schools Superintendent Bill Miller while also providing a local teacher with an exceptional development opportunity.


During the Polk County Board of Education’s scheduled meeting on Feb. 13 at Stearns Education Center, The Stuart and Margaret L. Forbes Foundation and the Ann L. Turner and Geoffrey M. Tennant Foundation announced the creation of a $25,000 Honored Educator Scholarship to the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). 

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The William J. Miller Honored Educator Scholarship will be awarded each year to the Polk County Schools’ Beginning Teacher of the Year, providing them access to a week-long professional development session at NCCAT and covering associated costs for the teacher and school district.


Dr. Brock Womble, NCCAT Executive Director, announced the creation of the scholarship at the outset of the meeting.


“This scholarship has been created to honor Mr. Miller, who retired after a distinguished career in Polk County Schools as a teacher, coach, principal, administrator and superintendent,” Womble said. “Mr. Miller served more than 30 years in Polk County Schools. He spent time on the men’s basketball staff at Wingate before beginning a teaching career as social studies teacher and basketball coach at Tryon High School. He later worked as principal at Polk County High School and as the Polk County district’s personnel director and assistant superintendent before becoming superintendent in 2004.


“As a lifelong educator, you may never know the scope of your impact or influence. But as evidenced today by those in attendance, there is no doubt that you have truly touched the lives of many in Polk County, and will continue to do so with this scholarship.”


A brief reception was held after the announcement.


“Mr. Miller is very deserving of this recognition,” said Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene. “He has always been dedicated to education and the growth and development of teachers. Having his name on this scholarship will be yet another addition to his substantial legacy of service in Polk County.”


In other business conducted by the board:


* The board recognized and congratulated Polk County Middle band director and teacher Kimberley Benson for receiving the Janice Anderson Brumley Education Grant.


* Curriculum and Instruction Director Jan Crump gave a presentation to the Board on K-3 student progress in literacy and Polk County Schools’ summer learning program for 2023.


* The board approved an overnight trip for two Polk County High School FFA officers to attend a Legislative Day in the N.C. General Assembly to learn more about governance.


* The board approved an adjustment to the 2023-2024 Polk County Early College calendar that will move spring break to the week following Easter in 2024 and align with the rest of Polk County Schools.


* Director of Operations Dr. Brandon Schweitzer provided an update on the nearly completed PCHS HVAC renovation project and the Tryon Elementary Forbes Preschool addition.


* The board approved a slate of recent legal policy updates on the first reading.


* The board approved the most recent budget amendments and a financial audit contract with Anderson, Smith, & Wike PLLC for 2023-2024 fiscal year.


* The board agreed to move its regular April meeting, previously scheduled for April 10 during the district’s Spring break, to April 3, and to hold its annual budget training session prior to the April 3 regular meeting at 3 p.m.


The next Polk County Board of Education Meeting will be held on March 13.