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Letters to the editor – Thursday (6-26-14)

Team approach worked well at GQ Elementary
I applaud Dr. Lynn Moody’s bold moves for Knox Middle School. In 1997, I transitioned from private to public school. My first teaching position was at Granite Quarry Elementary the year Carolyn Hartung, Ann Tucker and John Hoffman began their administration. Each of them brought excellence to their positions.
Over the next five years we saw our scores rise and the morale soar. The administration did not pressure staff; they supported and listened to us. When the fifth grade team wanted to try departmentalizing, they supported it. When students were a problem, the students were removed from the classroom, parents were required to come in and teachers were backed up. I heard statements like, “You are the parent. Your child cannot get themselves to school on time. That is your responsibility.”
Our administrative team cared about us and praised us. When my father died, Mr. Hoffman drove to Kinston for the funeral. When some of our best students misbehaved, Mrs. Tucker did not back down; she called their parents in, and the parents said thank you. Today, I have seen those students go on to be very successful in life.
Every teacher knew they could count on Mrs. Hartung to listen to concerns, and with genuine compassion, she implemented changes that impacted the school. Good news traveled fast!
Teachers are often seen in negative light, but we are employees in need of support, backup and compassion. On my first day at Granite Quarry, a student said, “We will get rid of you.” I responded with, “We’ll see about that.” I laugh now because I realize she was on a mission and I knew it. Because I had excellent administrative leadership, I was free to teach with the knowledge that someone had my back. Almost 20 years later, I call my team teaching years at Granite “the glory years.”
­— Theresa Pierce
Salisbury

Recently I was contacted by Southeast Hydroblasting, Inc., a company in Columbia, S.C., interested in hiring veterans for their office in Landis. So I contacted Josh Ward from Sen. Richard Burr’s office, and he and I went to visit the plant.
I was impressed that this company had designated several jobs to be filled only by veterans as a way of thanking them for their service to this country. It is encouraging that all across America now, companies are looking to hire veterans or active reservists to fill their positions.
I was humbled that this company contacted me as a veteran advocate. I checked this week, and there are still a few vacancies open for veterans. Should you be a veteran or reservist needing a job, please contact Southeast Hydroblasting, Inc., in Landis at 704-932-6827, and thank you for your service.
— Rodney Cress
Salisbury

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