By Sarah Plummer
At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, the board recognized Liberty High School Theater and Band director Jeremy Rodriguez for winning a $10,000 grant for his classroom through the Great American Teach-Off.
Superintendent Jim Brown called the teacher, “One of the most humble individuals I’ve met. It is important that we take time to recognize teachers who go above and beyond and the award that Mr. Rodriguez has been awarded is amazing.”
Brown said Rodriguez was one of the first people he met after coming to Raleigh County and saw the Liberty High School band play at halftime of a football game.
“It was amazing to watch how much fun and excitement the students had and how prideful those students were who were part of that band,” he said.
Rodriguez said of the competition, “As much as I would like to say the grant was about me, it was an online voting campaign. I only had one vote a day, which meant it was what you guys were doing when you were voting and supporting Liberty High School and I’m eternally grateful.”
“We are firm believers in the idea that the problems our students are going to be solving haven’t been invented yet so we focus a lot on creativity and motivation,” he said.
Liberty will use the funds to create a piano lab with each piano connected to a computer filled with technology so students can compose, share and publish their sheet music.
Rodriquez said he recently found out his classrooms have been awarded a $4,200 grant from the Beckley Area Foundation. In all, Liberty Fine Arts have pursued and been awarded a total of $20,000 in grants this year.
Board President Richard Snuffer thanked Rodriguez for what he does for Liberty High School and Raleigh County.
“You make all of us proud,” he said.
Also during the meeting, the board of education recognized their middle and high school partners in education. The following is a list of schools and their local business Partner’s in education: Beckley-Stratton Middle — Chili’s Bar and Grill; Independence Middle — United National Bank; Park Middle — Colony Drug, Calacinos and City National Bank; Shady Spring Middle — Sheldon Law Office and Sheetz; Independence High School — Little General, L & S Toyota, Pocahontas Coal, Sophia Auto Parts, and Alpha Natural Resources; Liberty High — Little General, Rick’s Super Market and Alpha Natural Resources; Shady Spring High — Sheetz; Woodrow Wilson High — McDonald’s and Dr. Pepper/7-UP Bottling Company.
The Raleigh County Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on May 14 in Munson Hall on Adair Street, Beckley.
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