Last updated: August 15. 2014 4:07PM - 583 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com

Community members join together to do landscaping improvements at Courtney Elementary School.
Community members join together to do landscaping improvements at Courtney Elementary School.
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YADKINVILLE — On Saturday, volunteers from the Courtney Vision Team gathered at Courtney Elementary School for a clean up day to work on landscaping and other beautification projects on the school grounds.

The goal of the team is to bring the Courtney community into the school and it is comprised of members from the Yadkin County Administration office, local pastors from Deep Creek Baptist Church, Courtney Baptist Church, members of the community, business leaders, PTA, Courtney Fire Department, school staff and alumni.

Despite rainy conditions on Saturday, organizers said it was a great turnout from community members, including assistance from Hallie Johnson of Hallie J’s Landscaping.

“It was great to see how much this community supports their school,” new Principal Jed Cockrell said. “The amount of work the group accomplished in one Saturday is staggering. It was surprising how many people turned out on a rainy Saturday to work. I am excited to be a part of a school that enjoys and has this kind of support.”

Former Principal Eddie Karriker, who will be moving to a new position as principal at Forbush High School this year, also attended the event.

“It was good for the school and the community to see the outgoing principal working side by side with the new principal,” said Karen Joyner, a teacher at Courtney Elementary.

“It was very much an honor to be here one more time with such great people as the Courtney community,” Karriker said. “What Hallie Johnson has pulled together for the school as far as plants, trees, shrubs, and ‘stuff’ has been great. I have said this many times in my short time at Courtney and I say it again, it has been amazing to see the community support of everyone here and we are a blessed staff to have this support.”

School secretary and principal’s assistant Tonya Shumate said one parent commented that the day symbolized a “passing of the torch in leadership” for the school.

“What better way and place to do it than working with the community for the one thing we all have in common — the students we have the opportunity to serve daily,” Karriker agreed.

Shumate also said the “local community played a substantial role in assisting the team to get the project off the ground with donations.”

“Walking away Saturday afternoon, we all could say, ‘It is a great day to be a Panther. Go Panthers!’” Karriker said.

The group plans to continue improvement projects around the school and anyone interested in participating or donating may contact Courtney Elementary School at 336-463-5510.

Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

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