New members of Randolph Board of Education sworn in

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Education met on Monday, December 12, to swear in new members and finalize voting for the naming of Trinity High School’s Gymnasium.

The meeting opened up with the swearing-in of three members. Current board member Fred Burgess was sworn into a new term, whereas Phillip Lanier and Shannon Whitaker joined the board as new members.

The board then unanimously voted to reelect Gary Cook as Board Chair.

“Sometimes, especially during COVID, you thought, ‘I don’t know if I want to go back or I could give this up,’” Cook said. “Whether it was worth taking the abuse or having a police escort to your car and the things people said behind the scene when we were just trying to keep kids in school. We were trying to do what we thought was right, and it might not have been the right answer, but I’m proud of Randolph County because while our neighboring school systems were staying at home, we did have our kids in school. We all took a stand to do the best we could. It was a tough two years, but we got through it, and we can hold our heads high.”

“I think all you guys know that we’ve become – especially when you go through tough times, and you get through it – like a family. I don’t think it will change one bit. This board has their hearts in the right place, everyone here. We’re just trying to make a difference, and at the end of the day, if you can make a difference in a kid’s life, that’s something special.”

Following Cook’s election, the board also unanimously voted to elect Sharon Farlow as Vice-Chair.

The board was then presented with an update on the Grassroots Arts Program Grant, which was received by the district.

“The Randolph County School System was awarded a grant in the amount of $2,547.00 from the Randolph Arts Guild through the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Grant Program,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Waddell. “We received on November 21, 2022, and will provide funding to support the district-wide fourth-grade field trip to the Greensboro Symphony. This year will be the second year that we will take fourth graders to Greensboro.”

“This is a special experience,” said Superintendent Stephen Gainey. “It was well organized last year. It’s a beautiful facility, and you see kids in there from all over with all these school systems, but it was great to see.”

According to Waddell, the field trip will take place in February.

The board then voted to approve the naming request for the Trinity High School Gymnasium for the final time.

“The Randolph County School System was approached about naming the Trinity High School Gymnasium after Tim Kelly,” said Executive Director of Operations Dale Brinkley. “Tim Kelly is the current men’s basketball head coach at Trinity High School and has served in this role for 34 seasons. Since starting his career in 1989-90 as the Trinity High School Boys’ Basketball Head Coach, Coach Kelly’s teams have won various conference, sectional, and state-level championships. He also has received various coaching awards and served as a role model and mentor. The request is to name the gymnasium: Tim Kelly Gymnasium.”

Since Kelly is no longer an employee of the school system, being instead a volunteer, there is no conflict with the naming.

The naming ceremony will take place in the coming months.

The Randolph County Board of Education will next meet January 9.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal