Leaders look to New Year
Last year ushered in leadership changes throughout Northumberland County that included a new library director, a new high school principal in Travis Burns and a new extension agent for agriculture.
With 2013 in the rearview mirror, some of the new leaders, along with county officials and community agencies, shared their hopes and goals for the New Year.
Northumberland County Board of Supervisors
From local government, Dist. 3 Supervisor Jim Long shared his hopes that the board would reach an agreement on the issue of tourist homes in Northumberland County.
“We have a larger number of people who want to have tourist homes and then you have quite a few who are against it,” Long said, adding that the board plans to vote on the matter at their meeting in February and decide whether the homes will be by right or by conditional use.
In focusing on local economy and employment, Long said they needed to make sure that the fish net industry remains open.
“Hopefully we might get lucky and get a small non-polluting industry in this area,” Long added.
For education, Long said he wanted to see the continued improvement of the graduation rate as well as the shrinking of the student performance gap between African Americans and other races.
Northumberland County Public Schools
School Board Chairman Betty Christopher highlighted Northumberland schools’ accomplishments in 2013 from the whole school division achieving full accreditation this school year to it students partaking in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Academy.
Christopher added that the county school system had hired a math specialist and math coach to prioritize mathematics instruction, attained Microsoft Office Certification and received a school security equipment grant from the State of Virignia.
For 2014, Christopher said that the schools’ six-year plan is in place.
She added that one of the division’s biggest priorities is to replace the roof at Northumberland Elementary School.
“We need to keep all schools maintained,” Christopher said. “We want to update our salary scales and benefits package for our employees, and we certainly want to put more technology into the schools and trained personnel to use it efficiently.”
Northumberland County Chamber of Commerce
Chamber President Douglas Lemke said the chamber’s wish list for 2014 “and the foreseeable future” includes finding a permanent home for its office and the Visitor’s Center that would include appropriate resources for enabling the organization “to attract more members and provide the best possible impression for all to experience.”
The chamber also seeks to better connect with more county residents and encourage them to volunteer for chamber events and activities.
“The more volunteers we have, the more we can connect our member businesses to our community…
-Pick up a copy of the January 1 issue of the Northumberland Echo to read the full story!