Gov. Perdue: TCS a state trailblazer

School earns praise for digital technology
Nov. 30, 2012 @ 01:46 PM

Gov. Bev Perdue stopped in the Chair City Thursday to congratulate Thomasville City Schools for being a state trailblazer when it comes to forging technology into the classroom. 
Perdue visited Thomasville Primary School, where the governor presented TCS with a banner recognizing the school system as a North Carolina Innovator in Digital Technology. TCS is one of five school systems in the state to receive the inaugural award.
"TCS decided it would be a good idea for all of you to have a chance to work every single day with a computer," Perdue said to children in a crowded gymnasium that also included teachers, administration and elected officials. "They were smart enough to understand that computers are part of everything we do in life. They're getting you ready for jobs. You guys are reading better, you're counting better, by almost 20 percent. That's pretty cool."
During her hour-long stay, Perdue visited three classes to see first-hand how students, some as young as 4 years old, worked their way around active boards and videoconferencing. Perdue watched first graders give a video presentation created by the children. She sat in on Carissa Loflin's prekindergarten class as students manipulated an active board and took time to see a lesson from a teacher in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"We love technology because it helps so much in the classroom" said first grade teacher Megan Croke following Perdue's visit to her class. "Technology is so important, especially when they go to college. They're going to need to be ready to do videos and know how to use computer. It's a lifelong thing they're going to need to know."
Over the past five years, TCS, through funds received from an Impact grant, has taken huge strides to put the latest educational technology into the hands of its teachers. The end result has been increased student achievement, a reduction in teacher turnover and an improved graduation. 
"I'm very proud," TCS Superintendent Keith Tobin said. "It happened because of all the hard work our folks have been doing. To have [Perdue] come out and recognize what we're doing, I'm proud today. She was able to interact with the students and that's what technology and integration into our instruction is all about."
TCS received the award based on a scoring system that took into account curriculum and instruction, professional development, leadership, administration and instructional support, infrastructure and technical support, and student learning outcomes. In the past couple of years, TCS has placed active boards in every classroom and successfully implemented a one-to-one laptop initiative at Thomasville High School.      

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.