D-19 students thankful for teachers and staff

Respect, compassion and a perfect mix of dedication are just some of the reasons 25 Barnwell District 19 students thanked some of the staff members who inspire them.
"She teaches us to treat others how we want to be treated," stated one student of Jacquetta Hammonds, a guidance counselor at Blackville-Hilda High School.
"She's always there when you need her," said another student of Vanessa Robinson, a math teacher at BHHS.
Hammonds and Robinson were two of the 10 staff members recognized by students during the regular Nov. 12 school board meeting. Others recognized were: Priya Nair, Albert Pressley, Derek Allison, Butch Sabb, Aubrey Carter, Christina Snider, Barbara Glover and Dorothy Priester.
The students who participated were: Desiree James, Ryan Murdock, Cardedra Webster, Emily Holiday, Vivian Hughes, Tamia Smalls, Nicholas Sanders, Tyniah James, Jalala Rivers, Bre'Niya Murray, Isisah Harrison, Raven woods, Jalia Nelson, Antwan Mole, Latoya Roundtree, Tykeisha Johnson, Nyeaijah Saxon, Chloe Bates, Michayla Davis, Jonathan Jackson, Ja'Niya Beaver, Austin Holliday, Marlayna Singleton, Daija Smalls and Kaniesha Smalls.
Leah Bias, the district's director of special student services, was recognized by the district staff as the High Flying Hawk. "She's always happy and always upbeat," said Superintendent Dr. Teresa Pope.
Pope went on to say how the staff members recognized are just a "small sample of all those we appreciate. We have a wonderful staff."
In other board business:
• The board unanimously approved a Christmas bonus for the certified staff using REAP (Rural Education Achievement Program) funds, something they do every year. Non-certified staff will also receive a bonus, but it will not be paid for with REAP funds.
• Jackie Brooks with Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center has begun expanded therapist services in the district three days a week - a measure approved by the board last month.
"It's paying off already," said BHHS Principal David Norman, referencing how five of his students are using the service.
The annual cost to the district this year will be $2,900 because they implemented the program during the school year. Next year the district will pay $5,000 for the entire school year.
•The district is seeking the help of local politicians in securing funds to demolish the old middle school building, which has sat vacant for many years.
"This building is an eyesore as well as a safety hazard," stated Pope in a recent letter to S.C. Sen. Brad Hutto (District 40). "There are no funds available to us in our budget to replace or do major remodeling." Demolition is estimated at $402,000.
• Evelyn Coker, the board chairperson, announced the superintendent evaluations have been handed out to board members and are due by Dec. 15 so they can be presented at a future meeting.
• The board unanimously approved the resignation of Will Murphy as the district's network administrator.