Isle of Wight School Board lauds achievers

Published 5:39 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

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By Lynn Briggs


The vision for Isle of Wight County Schools is to create a learning environment that will enable every child to discover his or her unique gifts and talents. The Isle of Wight Achievers section of our board meeting gives us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate our students, and staff, for their unique talents and gifts.

In addition, the Achievers program supports Priority 6 of the Strategic Plan by recognizing the role of students and staff in achieving our vision.

January Seniors

Windsor High School

The Senior of the Month for January from Windsor High School is Jacob Machner. When Jacob enters a class, he always comes with a mind ready to learn. He thinks critically, assesses information wholly, and articulates ideas that enlighten everyone. He is very opinionated but willing to support his arguments at a true intellectual level. Jacob is a doer. He sees a problem or an impediment and seeks to find a solution to it. He jumps in to help those who need it.

“Jacob offers significant insights into texts we read in AP Literature,” wrote Luann Scott, teacher and Senior Class sponsor. “He often plays devil’s advocate and impels all of us into deeper inquiry. In addition, he has shown great kindness to some special students in our school. He is a young man of great character and integrity. I am enriched by his presence daily.”

Jacob has been accepted at Virginia Tech and will major in engineering.

Smithfield High School

The Senior of the Month for January from Smithfield High School is Kane Sharon. Kane is always balancing a lot — between his school work, wrestling, being an active in his church, SCA, and working a job — but even with all of those things going on, Kane comes to school focused, eager to be an active participant in his learning, demonstrates GRIT, and most importantly he is kind to all others. His government class is full of students from different backgrounds, different social groups, and varying socio-economic status, yet Kane is able to float around through all the different groups and make everyone feel important, heard and comfortable, and he puts a smile on the face of everyone he encounters. His kindness to his classmates is inspiring and has helped create a positive, welcoming environment in my government class. I see him do many nice things for his classmates, all without expecting anything back in return. He always manages to do the right thing and, academically, he takes risks and consistently turns in great work. He exemplifies what it means to be a Packer.

Kane has gone above and beyond to help numerous peers and adults this month. The counseling office had an influx of new students in the fall. Kane is the main tour guide and is always willing to show new students around. He makes new students feel at ease and takes the extra time to really help them know the school. Additionally, he is a huge help to his peers in the Makerspace, often teaching others to use the equipment and feel more comfortable doing so.

“The work ethic, GRIT, respect, leadership, kindness, and positive attitude that Kane displays everyday — even when things aren’t going his way — make Kane a cut above the rest,” wrote Erin O’Neill Cahoon, government teacher.

Kane hopes to attend USF or ODU to study mechanical engineering.


Each quarter we recognize one of our support staff members who has gone Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Anyone throughout the division is invited to submit nominations. A panel reviews the nominees and selects the quarterly winners. Our 2019-2020 second quarter ABCD Award winner is Paula Morehead, Library Assistant from Smithfield High School.

The nomination for Paula stated the following:

Paula has gone above and beyond in her position as a library clerk to support the library program, staff and students at Smithfield High School. She is quick to respond to requests for help or additional information from staff and is thorough in ensuring all loose ends are completed. Paula is often the first person students see when they enter the library. She greets students warmly, learns their names and strikes up conversations to make them feel welcome. Paula takes the time to engage with students beyond helping them print, find a book, use a resource, etc. When a student was having a hard time passing the Wise test, she worked with him daily on practice questions and encouraged him until he passed. During laptop distribution — one of the library’s busiest times — Paula was a critical team member; she ensured students received laptops in a timely, efficient manner. She maintained a positive attitude despite long days on her feet, repeating instructions and filling out paperwork for hours at a time.

This fall, Paula was instrumental in reorganizing the library’s book collection so it would be more visually appealing and user-friendly for students. She helped move and label thousands of books by genre. This was all done as she maintained her everyday duties and support to staff and students in a bustling library. This year the library has seen an increase in collaboration with teachers and class use. Paula has been instrumental in supporting this partnership. For example, a week-long lesson with Mrs. Canady was possible due to Paula’s support. The class was divided into groups working on Public Service Announcements and we were able to divide and conquer as Paula managed the library flawlessly. This year the Literary Society had an ambitious plan to have the first student-led Fandom Con in the library. This event took a lot of planning and coordination with staff, students and administration. Paula jumped in and helped at every turn to make the event a success.

In addition to her responsibilities in the library, Paula manages textbook inventory, distribution and repair — all tedious tasks. She keeps the book room organized and provides teachers and students with the resources they need to teach and learn. Paula models GREAT and GRIT on a regular basis. She is a fabulous employee, a huge asset to the library and is so deserving of this award and recognition. As part of her award, Paula is receiving a $50 Visa gift card thanks to the generous support of The Woman’s Club of Smithfield. She is also receiving a personalized plaque created in the Smithfield High School MakerSpace.


Each month, SSC will recognize one of their employees with a special award. Assistant Unit Director for SSC, Karen Stacy, announced the January Employee of the Month as Bridget Robinson from Hardy Elementary School. Kenny Gray, unit director for SSC, presented Bridget with her award.